Sunday, July 23, 2006

That was no horror movie.

At best, Resident Evil 2 is an action flick that happens to have scary looking undead marching around eating people.
Ok, that's a little gross, but it really wasn't scary. In fact the undead are almost funny in how they are depicted. Comic lumbering masses, who are constantly rising from the dead. Silly.
Oh well. I'll have to look forward to whatever is next on my Netflix list. Maybe a little "Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter"? Perhaps.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

It's Horror night!

Tonight I'll be watching "Resident Evil 2". I watched the first one, and it was as much cool sci-fi as it was a thriller. Not quite a horror movie, but it was shocking in a few places.
This one picks up right where the last one leaves off and should explain a little more from the first movie.
Best part? Milla Jovovich, of course! Ok, and the crazy undead creatures that prowl after her. So cool.
I'll give you an update once i am finished with it.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

World Jump Day

Did you feel that? Were you awoken this morning by a certain "bump" in the night? Wasn't an earthquake, can't quite explain it? I can.
It's World Jump Day today and I can't believe you missed it!
According to some very bright scientists in Germany, if 600 million people all jump at the same time, at exactly 6:39AM and 13 seconds EST, a force could be exerted on the earth so strong that it would send it into a new orbit around the sun.
Neat, huh?
Why in the world would we have World Jump Day? To prevent Global Warming, of course. The theory states that if we can push ourselves just a little further from the sun, the world will get a bit cooler and we'll live a lot longer.
Nice.
600 million people are required for this to work. According to the offical website www.worldjumpday.org at 2pm yesterday they were a few hundred thousand shy. Last night there were over 250 thousand more than needed.
What happens if enough people don't actually jump? Will it help a little, or not at all?
What happens if there are a whole bunch of unauthorized jumpers? Will this send us on a collision course with Mars?
We can only guess.
Let me know if you jumped, would you?

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's Dean R. Koontz week!

While on vacation I love to spend my free time reading. Nowadays, with two kids constantly needing attention, reading time is in short supply.
Before we left for the trip, my Wonderful Wife suggested that I choose a book for her. Her last book, Flirting With Pete, by Barbara Delinsky, was not the page turner that she was hoping for. Even though she finished it and enjoyed it, she wanted something a little more exciting.
I went to the bookshelf and looked past my huge Stephen King collection (you can't take first edition hardcovers to the beach!), and found my Dean R. Koontz paperback collection. I have about 20 different soft-cover Koontz books, each from different points in his career. I have two that I read repeatedly (Midnight and Watchers) and a bunch that I have never even cracked open.
I pulled Watchers off the shelf, since WW told me that she had already read Midnight. Just in case I also grabbed The Door To December for her. That worked out for the best since she turned up her nose at my original choice when i told her it was a story about a "really smart dog." I think i undersold it a bit.
For myself, now in the mood for some of this easy reading, I selected Cold Fire and Twilight Eyes. I have never read either before and they looked interesting.
My wonderful wife began to read while on our journey to the beach; she didn't waste any time. I, on the other hand, had to wait until we got to the island for a quiet time after the kids went to bed.
Once we got to the condo we were staying at, I unpacked all the books and put them on an endtable in the living room. That's when i noticed that my father-in-law had also brought two Dean Koontz books for himself. He was planning on reading Strange Highways, a collection of short stories that he began a long time ago but never finished. The really odd thing was that he also chose Cold Fire for the trip just as I had.
I finished Cold Fire and most of Twilight Eyes (i just have the second half left, added a few years after the original publication. It was not a great book so I'm not sure I'll finish it). My wonderful wife had 20 pages left in her book by the time we made it back home. The F-I-L managed to finish the first (and longest)story in the collection he was reading; he did us the favor of watching Big Sis often while WW and I snuck away to the beach for some quiet reading and sunning time.
So, the final score? I win... but it wasn't a race, i swear.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

All-Star Fantasy Team

Every summer I look forward to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. For the past four years, a friend of mine from the Deep South, Tony, and I would seat ourselves at a local watering hole and watch the entire game while trading baseball statistics and factiods. Our little tradition started out with just the two of us but has grown to include a larger number of baseball fanatics.
This year, however, I will not be attending the annual event since I am away on Hilton Head Island. Instead, I have convinced my Wonderful Wife that it would be necessary for us to have wings and beer at the local Wild Wing Cafe in the spirit of our annual get-together.
Yep, there is even a Wild Wing on the island, a little slice of hot-wing heaven. If you haven't heard already, I love this place (read my old rant here).
So with the big game in mind, I have examined my current fantasy baseball team and I think I have a winner. Much to the chagrin of some of the whiners in my league, I have assembled a serious contender, and I think I have a very good shot at the championship this year. Let me run down the list of players on my team, whether or not they are All-Stars this year, and how they ended up on my roster.
Offense --
Joe Mauer (C - Min): All-Star, Drafted
Albert Pujols (1B - StL): All-Star, Keeper
Dan Uggla (2B - Fla): All-Star, picked up from free agent list.
David Wright (3B - NYM): All-Star, Keeper
Rafael Furcal (SS - LAD): Keeper
Chone Figgins (Util - LAA): Keeper
Manny Ramirez (OF - Bos): All-Star, Traded Corey Patterson (OF - Bal) for him amid much league controversy. The trade was offered to me, and the originating team manager still wanted Patterson even after several other managers berated him.
Jeremy Hermida (OF - Fla): Drafted
Justin Morneau (1B - Min): Drafted, dropped and picked up again later from waiver wire.
Ryan Freel (Util - Cin): Drafted, dropped and picked up again later from the waiver wire.
Gary Sheffield (OF - NYY): Traded Brad Wilkerson (1B, OF - Tex) for him even though Shef was on the DL.
Pitching --
Roy Halladay (SP - Tor): All-Star, Keeper
Mark Prior (SP - ChC): Keeper
Billy Wagner (RP - NYM): Drafted
Joel Zumaya (RP - Det): picked up from free agent list
Rafael Soriano (RP - Sea): picked up from free agent list
Scott Kazmir (SP - TB): All-Star, Drafted
Francisco Liriano (SP - Min): All-Star, picked up from free agent list
Ryan Dempster (RP - ChC): Drafted
Huston Street (RP - Oak): Drafted
Justin Verlander (SP - Det): picked up from free agent list
Yep, that's quite a team.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Caiprinha - a great drink while on vacation

While on a date-nite with my Wonderful Wife, we stopped at a local Hilton Head restaurant called "Marley's". The place had an island sensibility and lots of charm. We ordered a dessert of Churros (mexican cinnamon and sugar sprinkled donuts) and some tropical drinks. She ordered a strawberry pina colada, and I ordered a Caiprinha. The Caiprinha is made using a special rum that is made from sugar cane instead of molasses. Very tasty.

INGREDIENTS
1 lime quartered
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 shot of cacha├ža
1/2 Cup of ice cubes with water

PREPARE:
Place the lime and sugar in the bottom of a glass.
Using the handle of a wooden spoon, crush and mash
the limes. Pour the liqueur and ice. Stir well.

I prefer it shaken, which distributes the pulp throughout the drink. You can top off the drink with a little lemon-lime soda to fill the glass.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Breakdown!

On our way to Hilton Head Island for our annual family week at my Wonderful Wife's parent's timeshare, we drove the 350 mile treck in a two-car caravan. Through Macon and across the east Georgia barrens we drove with regular stops to rest and feed the kids. Along the way we passed a town called Metter, a town that boasted on a roadside billboard that "Metter is better." I'll take their word for it.
Leaving Georgia, we stopped for a bio-break (food, fuel, restroom) at a gas station off of I-95 just outside of Savannah in a little town called Pooler. Our two-car caravan stopped and all of us piled out of the car to stretch our legs.
Once a pump opened up, I hopped back in the car to move it to get gassed up. Trying to restart the car proved that the battery was dead. We had already made it 300 miles, but the battery just decided that it wouldn't go any further. My father-in-law provided a jump-start from his car and the two of us made our way to the local Advance Auto Parts.
We really picked a great exit to stop off at; this Advance really was "ready in advance". (Metter might be better, but Pooler is definitely cooler) They had one battery left that fit our car but the tech thought it would be a good idea to test out the existing battery just in case. He wheeled out the oldest looking device and dragged it to our car engine. As he hooked positive sensor to positive post and negative to negative I checked out all the lights and sensors on his testing gizmo.
Sixty seconds pass as numbers scroll by on the display, lights flashing in no particular order on the grey box. With a single buzz, the message "Battery Bad" appears on the screen. That's it. No other information. I guess that we'll have to take their word for it. I kinda expected something more, almost like a printout that you would get from an emission check.
Five minutes later we had a new battery and we were back on the road. All is good in Pooler.

Friday, July 07, 2006

When "Where" is the new "Why"

You know how the stereotypical child is constantly pestering the parent with a barrage of "Why?" questions? Usually after the parent carefully answers the first "Why" they are peppered with another "Why" on top of that? Here is an example:
Parent: "It's time for bed"
Kid: "Why?"
Parent: "Because it's getting late"
Kid: "Why?"
Parent: "Because it's about your bedtime"
Kid: "Why?"
Parent: "Because you are just two years old and 8 o'clock is late enough for two-year-olds"
Kid: "Why?"
Parent: "Because you really have nothing to do after 8 o'clock and frankly Daddy is getting tired"
Kid: "Why?"
Parent: "Because I had a long day at work"
Kid: "Why?"
Parent: "Well, first it was a meeting at 8am...
...you can see where this is going. Yeah, well, that's the stereotype, right? Not my kid. Big Sis's question is "Where". Even when it is completely redundant, she will fire off "Where" questions at me like she is a professional investigator. It usually sounds a little something like this:
Me: "Ok, time to get into the car"
Big Sis: "Where?"
Me: "In the garage"
Big Sis: "Where?"
Me: "Down the hall and out the door"
Big Sis: "Where?"
Me: "About 15 feet away from us now"
Big Sis: "Where?"
Me: "We're here."
Big Sis: "Where?"
Yep, she is super cute.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independance Day! Fireworks are now legal in Georgia!

Happy 4th of July.
Fireworks are now legal in Georgia. Not the good kind, the ones that make the big explosions and shoot into the air. We get the sparklers and the pop-its and a few of the cones that you put on the ground that spray out a fountain of colorful sparks. I can't seem to find any roman candles, M80s, bottle rockets or even the firecrackers that i remember as a kid. I think when Bubba is older I will be glad that none of those are available around here.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Fireworks! ...and now I have Kenny Rogers' cell phone number

Tonight the family went out to see Fourth of July fireworks at the local park. Last year we were on Hilton Head Island when we saw the fireworks. We watched them from one of the plantations, right on the water. It was a great setting and Big Sis really enjoyed her first fireworks display.
This year the park we were at was pretty small, and we could see the mortars setup at the other end of the park. I set out blankets earlier in the evening to reserve us some prime picnic and viewing space, and it made all the difference: we were very close to our car, to the consessions, to the play ground, to the band. It also meant that we were very close to the fireworks.
We had been talking up the fireworks display to the kids for a few days now. Big Sis was excited about them. I don't know if she remembered last year's event, but she was looking forward to seeing fireworks tonight.
Dusk settled in and we picked up our picnic area so that we didn't have to when it got dark. As the band was winding down, we strapped Big Sis and her friend, James, into our double-wide stroller. I can call it a double-wide stroller. I live in the Deep South. James is about the same age as Big Sis, give-or-take a few months, and is a regular, rough-and-tumble boy. It seemed like a good place to put them, in case they fell asleep, they would already be ready for the walk to the cars.
The moment the first explosion roared very close overhead, the two kids freaked out. Screaming for mommies and squirming to be released from their bindings, they flailed wide-eyed as bomb after bomb burst into bright lights in the sky. Once in her mother's arms, Big Sis stared blankly at the ground, occasionally wincing at the noise above. James jogged in place, crying, as he was put into pajamas by his mother. He held his hands over his eyes and cowered later in his father's lap. It wasn't long before Big Sis passed out from fear and exhaustion. She slept through the rest of the show.
Which brings me to the point of writing this whole story...
As we were packing up after the show, Big Sis's Grandpa picked up a cell phone off the ground. Obviously lost, I took it from him to deal with the responsibility of finding its owner. I figured that they would eventually call their own cell phone to try to figure out where it was. I'd do the same if it were me who had lost a cell phone.
On our ride home, my Wonderful Wife suggested I browse though the phone list in case there is a listing for "Home". Sure enough, there was a listing for "Home" and I decided to call that number in the morning.
Natural curiousity encouraged me to continue scrolling through the list of names. My curiosity paid off when I came across the name "Kenny Rogers". Holy Smokes! Could it be? Could it be true?? Do I now have access to The Gambler's cell phone? What luck!
Natural curiousity encouraged me to dial the number.
No answer.
I will try it again until I get in touch with him. What would I say? "Love your Chicken, Kenster." Maybe he is free for our New Year's Eve party and would like to make an appearance! What do you think I should say to Kenny Rogers when I call him?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Back by popular demand.

Ok, you asked for it, you got it. Here is Big Sis singing her version of "Baa Baa Black Sheep".