Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Thomas Project, Day 2

First, anything look different around here? Yes, I changed things around a bit. Hope you like it. Moving on...

I didn't have much time to work on The Thomas Project today as I had to watch Anthony while Ann was at work. But he did watch me for a bit while I filled in the cloud with white paint over the Gesso.

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As you can barely see, I only filled in the spaces between the top line of text. The bottom will be next. Once the top portion was done, I began to fill in the text with red paint. It looks sloppy now, but I will fill in the serifs and finer details later.

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And for you detail nuts, here's some close-ups of the pencil sketches.

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In case some of you are wondering, yes, I am getting a bit tired of looking at ol' Thomas. But Anthony's reaction to just the preliminary pencil sketch and small painted area was well worth the effort: "WOW! CHOO-CHEE!" (his word for Thomas and trains in general).

Speaking of trains, we're taking him to Travel Town in Griffith Park today. I have a feeling he'll enjoy it!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Thomas Project, Day 1

At this point in time, my life is consumed with the object of Anthony's admiration: Thomas the Tank Engine. I can't explain it. He just loves that thing.

So you can only imagine what the house looked like during Christmas. My God, I think we even got Thomas toilet paper. And being that I am off this week, we took a trip to the Thomas Station store in the Brea Mall. Unless you are really desperate for anything Thomas, I wouldn't recommend this place--overpriced and small selection. The only good thing about going there was eating lunch at The Hat afterwards.

At any rate, I always wanted to paint something on my kid's bedroom walls. Sure, the subject matter may only interest them for a short time, but it'll keep them happy--and keep me busy. So I decided to paint Thomas the Tank Engine on one of Anthony's walls.

For starters, I had to choose what exactly I wanted to paint. So I went with the logo from this box (upper left), which is surrounded by the tools of the trade: a pencil, an eraser, a yardstick, an Itoya Finepoint pen, and laser level. I'm old-school save for the laser level.

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From there, I had to draw a straight line for the text, which was all done initially freehand with a pencil.

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Then I darkened the letters with the Itoya pen, and began drawing Thomas.

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That blue thing you see me holding is actually a piece of track from Anthony's Thomas set. When in a complete circle, it measured 16"--just 2" short of what I needed. Not an issue; I simply split the difference and went with it. I then added more detail.

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An improperly burned CD provided the perfect template for Thomas' eyes and front windows.

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Once the sketch was complete, I began to apply a coat of Gesso around the letters as that area will be white, and only one coat of white paint may not cover.

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And that's about where I'm at right now. I have to wait for the Gesso to dry before I begin filling in the cloud area with white paint.

This is the kind of stuff I can really dig my teeth into--freehand, split-the-difference kind of creativity. When it comes to using Adobe Illustrator, forget it. I mean, I'm kind of glad I dropped out of Platt College to become a writer, but I still miss illustrating and drawing.

For this, and my ability to play music by ear, Ann lovingly calls me "one of those people." She may not be able to draw freehand (CAD and drafting is another story with her), but she can read sheet music.

I don't need to ;) And check back later for updates on this project!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My Past Keeps Coming Back!

And it's not really a bad thing.

Ann and I went to Target the day after Christmas to stock up on supplies for next year. We found some good stuff, including a 256 MB xD card--just what we needed to buy for the digital camera Ann's dad received this year--for $24.

At any rate, while in the Electronics Department, I spoke with a former co-worker of mine who still works there. She mentioned that there was this, in her words, "skinny white guy that keeps asking for me."

It wasn't that hard to narrow down--I don't know many skinny white guys. I left her my name and number in case dude came back some time soon.

Little did I know that it would only be hours later that I'd get a call from skinny white guy, a former Target co-worker by the name of Kevin who I hadn't spoken to (read: unvoluntarily lost communication with) in at least 12 years. We spoke for a bit and promised to catch-up in full detail later. He still sounds the same, and still funny as hell.

If my count is accurate, he makes the 5th person this year that I happened to come across, that I hadn't seen or spoken to in at least 10 years. Makes me wonder what I did right to all of a sudden have all these people back in my life.

It's been cool seeing and hearing from all of them once again. And I'm thankful for it all.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Imagine: 25 Years Later

Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon, one of those defining moments in history where you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing.

I was all of age 11 living in Wilmington, CA. I had just stepped outside to bring in our pet parakeet when an CBS News Special interrupted the regulrarly scheduled programming.

John Lennon, age 40, has been shot and killed by a deranged fan, Mark David Chapman, after having the former Beatle sign an album.

The Beatles had already made an impact on my life with my brother checking out albums from the library, friends playing their copies endlessly. When the news came across, I was shocked. I think I cried a little.

Every rock station in town began their own tributes. KLOS and KMET began playing Beatles and Lennon songs. Subdued DJs would occasionally remind the listeners of what had just happened. And suddenly Lennon's "Imagine" took on a whole new meaning.

Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" means more to me now than it ever did shortly after Anthony was born, and was included on a compilation CD that I made for the kid to help him sleep. No doubt I will listen to it tomorrow.

And when the evening news wraps up with their story on the anniversary, I'm sure I'll still shed a tear or two.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

How Wheels in Action!

I loved Hot Wheels as a kid. Still do. Even collected them for a while before I got tired of dealing with grown men running over children on their way to the toy dapartment at Target, just so they could get the newest cars. Total jerks, all of you.

Now that Anthony's almost two, it became a recent quest of mine to find him some track--Lord knows I have plenty of cars, cars that he will play with and not let sit in a closet for decades. The stuff's hard to come by, and I don't have any of mine left. Fortunately, the week I began looking K-Mart released a retro version of Hot Wheels track. I bought two packs.

And so we began playing. Imagine that, collectors--PLAYING with Hot Wheels! At any rate, as a child I often wondered what it would be like to freeze that one moment when my car jumped off the ramp, collided with another, etc.

So I took some digital shots of some of the cars in action. Here's the best I could do, all cropped to the subject:

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Okay, so the last three aren't Hot Wheels. It's one of those wind-up cars you have to wind by rolling it backwards about four times. It came with a cheap track set we got the kid today, and it was hard taking those shots of it. Damn thing is quick!

Oh, and some are Matchbox cars, too. And yes, my carpet is that ugly.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Good Karma, Part 2

While I'm here...

Remember the post from a few days ago? Well, it's still reaping rewards.

Tonight there was a message on the answering machine from a company that saw my resume on Turns out they are looking for an entry-level Technical Writer, and want to get in touch with me.

My resume is going to be faxed tomorrow. Updates to be posted later!

Jenny Craig: What A Rip-Off

Ann’s wants to lose weight, so we went to Jenny Craig tonight to see what they had to offer.

Wow, what a crock of shit that was. Close to $100 a week for food, per person. That would come to about $800 a month for food for the two of us. That’s almost a mortgage payment, or even two car payments. All they preach is eating healthy and portion control, something that you can do yourself if you are really committed to doing it. When I lost 90 pounds in high school all I did was portion control and lots of exercise. Oh, and I ate what I wanted and didn’t stick to some silly schedule.

After taking our weight, the counselor sat with us and went over the plan. Based on the information we gave her she determined a target weight range. Mine came up between 130 and 167.

I’ve got a large-frame body, and dropping down to 130 pounds seems really unhealthy to me at this age. Even when I did lose all that weight in high school, I was still in the 170-pound range and looked thin because of my body type. I’m overweight, sure. But I’m not morbidly obese like those blobs with cottage cheese arms you see on their commercials. I think if I ever reached that point, I’d opt for the gastric surgery.

The survey was full of loaded questions—the multi-choice answers on some of them made you out to be some sort of weakling with little or no self-control. In fact, I wrote-in my own answers on a few. Then there was the counseling session. I was getting so freaking annoyed during it that I just grabbed Anthony and left. The woman was talking and talking out of her ass at one point, and it was nothing I didn’t already know.

Basically, it’s like Weight Watchers but with their own food—expensive food. And I just don’t have that much time to drive to the place for counseling, food, etc. Does that mean I’m not committed? No, that means I’m not willing to spend $800 a month for food I can just as easily buy at Ralphs.

But I did take home some insight as to how the program works: start at 2,000 calories a day, and once you reach the halfway point, reduce it to 1,600 until you reach your goal. That’s it.

We can do this, and it ain’t gonna involve Jenny Craig.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Good Karma

I failed to mention this, but the last few weeks have been interesting. No, this year has been interesting.

First off, I was re-acquainted with some old friends--one was my former supervisor at Target I hadn’t seen in at least 10 years. Then we go to the Lexus event at Dodger Stadium last weekend.

Previous to that, which I failed to mention, I played the part of Good Samaritan to a fellow motorist. Last Monday I pulled into the Valero station parking lot for my daily 64oz. refill of Diet Pepsi in my tankard. It was there where I saw a young woman, probably in her mid-20s, who looked rather frantic. All the doors of her black Jetta were swung open, as was the trunk. It was problem for me as her open doors were blocking the only parking space available. Shit, I thought. I’ll just part right here in front. I’ll only be a second.

So I parked, got my refill, and started to head to work—the Valero is only about two minutes from work. As I was leaving, the Jetta girl still looked confused. Knowing I was early, I did my duty and asked it she needed help.

Her whole problem was that she couldn’t quite figure out the jack. Ever see a VW/Audi jack? Instead of the two-sided scissor-type of lift, it only has one v-shaped lift. Strange.

At any rate, once the car was in the air, it all went smoothly. Hardly even got dirty. We exchanged casual conversation as I changed the tire.

“You know, I’m not the most religious guy in the world,” I said, “but I believe in being rewarded for doing a good deed for those who need it.” She agreed. Once the tire was on, I wished her well and told her not to drive too fast.

A few nights before that, I went searching for some old friends. I found a few, one of whom I thought was someone I hadn’t spoken to or seen since before high school. So I e-mailed her, hoping it was.

The night of the flat-tire incident, I got confirmation. It was indeed Mary, an old friend from my two years in Catholic school. We’ve been chatting off and on ever since.

Now here’s the kicker. Today at work, I was notified that I was no longer the writer/editor/proofreader. I was being promoted to the position of Senior Copy Editor, a promotion that came with a $1/hr. increase, or about $2,000 per year.

Good karma. You ought to try it.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Taste of Lexus Event

The folks at Lexus know how to please.

I was invited to attend their Taste of Lexus: Performance Edition, an event which took place yesterday at Dodger Stadium. The event was a pressure-free way (read: no salesmen) to test-drive the entire line of Lexus vehicles, including the new LX400h hybrid, and the IS250 and IS350, as well as their European and American counterparts.

The media presentation took place deep in the bowels of Dodger Stadium near the Stadium Club. I'd never been there, so I took lots of pictures of just about everything I saw in the stadium. Thing is, I wasn't the only one!

I saw the Dodgers' and visiting team clubhouses. I saw where Vin Scully works. I sat in a bullpen golf cart. I took a whiz in a urinal, not the traditional stadium trough. I even saw Dodger scout Mike Brito, best known for spending his time behind the plate with his speed gun, Panama hat, and cigar. Damn, I should have gotten a picture with him.

But you can enjoy I did take by viewing them publicly at my Yahoo! Photos page.

First things first, we the folks at Lexus arranged private transportation to and from the stadium for us. We were greeted at the event with smiles and handshakes, and led down to the Stadium Club. I had no idea the stadium went down so low.

Media members were given a gift bag of stuff after the presentation which included--are you ready?--a Suunto N6HR watch, Kosta Boda Car-Toons glassware, multimedia CDs, and literature. The "plain folk" gifts--public was allowed via inviation only--consisted of a restaurant guide in a leatherbound case, and two Paul McCartney CDs. We took some of those, too (see album for pics of what we took home) as well as Lexus mints in cool little tins.

Food was everywhere. There was a salon where Ann and I got some sort of hand treatment--and it was amazingly relaxing. And oh, we drove some cars, too.

The IS250 looks fierce, but is a bit lackluster. I should have opted for the IS350 but the line was too long. The LX400h hybrid, however, was incredibly quick and responsive. Ann got to drive the SC430, which she enjoyed.

All in all, an amazing day at the old ballpark, even if Vin Scully wasn't there.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

RIP LX 1991-2005

I just got a call from my mom about her beloved LX (pronounced "Alex"). At the age of 14, LX had to be put to sleep due to heart complications. None of his medication was working so there wasn't much choice left but to put him down.

Here he is in a digital photo from 2001, doing what he loved to do best: play with a tennis ball.

About his name: he came home in a Ford Escort LX model, and the name "Alex" seemed to fit his personality perfectly. We just mixed it up a little.

LX, you'll be missed by many, especially Mom. I hope they have plenty of tennis balls where you're at now. I miss you already.

His ashes will be scattered in the backyard he loved to frolic in.

Rest in peace, little guy.

Happy Hallowe'en!

Here's Anthony in his Tigger costume. We had a ball!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thank You, Wil Wheaton

Actor and fellow Farker Wil Wheaton did something very cool for my wife today.

And I would like to take a moment to publicly thank him for it.

Thanks, Wil, for taking time out for a fan. You're one cool dude, and made my wife's day--quite possibly her year!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Where I've Been

Hey, I know I haven't posted here much, but I've been checking out The main reason for my going there was to check out Depeche Mode's page as it was told by those in charge that it would be worth it.

When I was able to listen to a streaming version of Playing the Angel, not officially released until October 18, I was happy.

At any rate, here's my space, which I move into permanently, leaving my Blogger behind.

We'll see.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

From the Archives

I transferred this from a cassette that is about 23 years old. It's a classic.

Forgive the poor quality; it's the best I could do.

New York Telephone (MP3 file, 2.16 MB, running time 1:34, explicit content!)

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Friday, September 30, 2005

Long Nights...

I just finished up transferring four DV tapes to my 80GB external hard drive. They chronicle Anthony's last 18 months, and take nearly 60GB of space. I could have easily copied them to my new computer's hard drive but I didn't want to take up all that space on it just yet. This process took three nights of staying up past midnight and since DV transfer is all real-time, it must be monitored. Ugh.

The next step is to edit out the crap--not sure if I'm up to that--then transfer it all to DVD. The tapes will then be archived.

Oh, and I officially began Christmas shopping! Sounds weird, I know, but I'm actually late this year. Ann and I make it a habit to do our shopping year-round so come Christmastime, we're not struggling for gift ideas. But I found a deal today that will make someone pretty happy. I can't post what it is since said person--my brother--reads this thing. So he'll have to wait until Christmas to find out, or his birthday in November.

Off to bed. The DVD burning begins tomorrow. At least that can be done without me watching over it.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Did ya hear about this? A JetBlue plane leaving from Burbank's Bob Hope Airport had to make an energency landing at LAX today shortly after takeoff. Turns out its front landing gear was all funky.

There was much speculation over where it was going to land and when. First it was Long Beach but its runway is too short. I could have had a front-row seat if it were there as I live in the flight pattern. Then the landing times changed from 5 minutes to 15 minutes to whatever.

I actually saw the plane from the backyard when it began its decent after circling for more than 3 hours, burning off fuel. But here are some stills from my video camera, taken from CBS2.

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Thumbs-up to the pilot and crew for a great job getting this thing back on the ground safely.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Me Play Joke!

So we were leaving Target today and I noticed a sign at their Pizza Hut/Taco Bell restaurant (which was called Food Avenue when I worked there). It had a familiar ring to it.

It was advertising to thirsty Target guests--yes, they call them guests ala Disney--that they now have more beverages to choose from. It read:

We've Got Pepsi
We've Got Coke

Not funny? It was to me.

It seems to me that the marketing geniuses may have borrowed a line from an old joke which contains:

Me Chinese
Me play joke
Me make pee pee
In your Coke

For more insight, check this out.

So either the line was an homage to this old joke, or my mind is that twisted.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Yield to This

Ann left me a voicemail message today that she told me was blog-worthy. So here it goes.

Seems she was stopped at an intersection waiting for traffic to clear when she noticed a duo of joggers approaching from the right. According to Ann, she left the pasta-eaters plenty of room to pass.

But it wasn’t good enough for one of the fitness nuts.

“Helllooo! Joggers here,” one of the ladies exclaimed as they hopped by.

Ann wasn’t impressed.

“Why don’t you watch where the fuck you’re going, you asshole? You don’t own the goddamn road!”

One of them looked back at Ann and kept jogging. With the mood Ann was in today, I would have made like the Activision Decathlon and shifted from a steady pace to a serious sprint if I were either one of them.

And that leads to this. Why do these morons act like they do own the road? Most of the ones I pass always seem to be in the middle of the street. And forgive me if I’m wrong, but unless there’s a marathon happening, streets are usually meant for vehicles. Last time I checked, joggers didn’t have wheels or 170 horsepower—unlike my car.

You bunch of eccentric pedestrians. Don’t stare at me or give me the crazy eyes because I happened to pass you on the street—I’ve got every right to be there, idiot. And would it hurt you to stop jogging for 30 freaking seconds? You look like chihuahuas on crack when you stand there at an intersection, checking your watch, jogging in place waiting for the light to change. Go forbid you lose a precious 1/1000 of a second.

Oh, and Jim Fixx to all of you. I’ll pound down a pack of chocolate Hostess Donette Gems tonight in your honor.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A New Toy

I’m trying out’s new add-on called Blogger for Word. It lets you compose your post in Word and then upload and publish it.

What could possibly be the advantage of this thing? The main one I can think of is being able to backup your posts to your hard drive.

Bold, italics, etc. can be accomplished without fumbling with HTML.

Here goes nothing!

Friday, September 02, 2005

What Have You Done?

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross is doing what it can to bring aid to those who so desperately need it.

So my question is: What have you done?

This morning I went to McDonald's to buy us breakfast. Upon entering the parking lot I noticed a local TV news van and a canopy along with two CHP cruisers. The Red Cross had set up a donation station for relief efforts.

I felt bad because the money I had in my wallet I had IOU'd from Anthony's piggy bank, to be replaced today. After breakfast I had $5 left.

So I did what was needed. I drove to the canopy, unlocked Anthony from his car seat, and gave him his $5. We approached the volunteers, all of whom were happy to see so many people donating so early in the morning.

Anthony then dropped his $5 in the bucket--the bottom was already covered with bills of every denomination--and was given a sticker by the CHP officer. He's officially been branded as a Junior Officer in the California Highway Patrol. I will integrate the sticker into a graphic later to put in his keepsake album.

I don't think anybody outside the area is really aware of the sheer magnitude of this event: the desperation, the frustration, the uncertainty of what tomorrow brings--if tomorrow comes. I know this is the case with a friend of my mother-in-law's hairdresser.

The family was out here on vacation from the disaster-riddled area with their 3-week-old baby. Like everybody out there, they have no idea what to expect when they go back, if they go back. They are now one of the many who have been displaced.

We had just gotten Anthony's big boy bed and have his crib sitting in the house, disassembled. We also have tons of his old baby clothes in the garage. We held onto all of those for some reason.

And this was the reason. Because their home is alomst certain to be gone, Anthony's crib, clothes, and bassinet will be handed on to them.

It's not a lot, but it's something.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Tony Muhammad: Nation of Islam tool

There isn’t any amount of screaming, yelling, congregating, praying, or sign waving that your little ska-band of an organization can do to convince me that they are nothing more than an outdated and useless gang of decrepit hateful old thugs which you believe represents the voice of the African American community. In reality, only you believe what you are saying. The majority of African Americans don’t care about your group. But you never hear from them because they are too busy making something of themselves; bettering their lives.

Being loud and obnoxious does get attention, yet it is also the way that small groups such as yours—those representing an opinion that most likely will be unfavorable by most—try to convince everybody that you are right. And like those other groups the majority of the population, race notwithstanding, don’t care about what you have to say.

While you hoot and holler over these “injustices” brought upon your fellow members by the Los Angeles Police Department, I can’t help but think to myself that they probably deserved what they got. And perhaps they deserved more. When you disobey the orders of officers, you can’t possibly expect for them to respond with flowers, candy, and two tickets to a Lakers game. That’s not to say that there aren’t any corrupt officers because I know there are. But just because you are African American doesn’t give you the right to disobey orders given to you. And when you show signs of resisting, the course of action taken is done in response to yours, not the color of your skin. But alas, the race card is always present.

I’m law-abiding Hispanic male. If I should ever be ignorant enough to put myself in the situations you do, I’d simply do what the police told me. Sure I could kick and scream, but then I’d have all of those idiot Hispanic rights groups defending my actions which were clearly intentional and meant to provoke the officers and disrupt the peace. There’s no defense to stupidity, unless you are in the Nation of Islam. And Lord knows I wouldn’t want those puerile brains at La Raza coming to defend me when I was clearly wrong. They are as bad as you.

You turn every one of your community’s misfortunes into a rally against whitey. You want to “police the police” and request that only African American officers respond to calls in your community. You believe that the world still hates “black people” and that nothing has changed in 40 years. In short, you’re angry and you want things your way, all the time.

You incite crowds and shape their opinion into what you want them to believe. It’s never the fault of the victim, no. Always blame the white devil.

What the hell gives you the right to go about spouting such ignorant banter? The only reason you believe that nothing has changed in 40 years is that you don’t want it to change. Then there’d be no Nation of Islam if you gave up hating whitey. You’d have to go out and find a real job, realizing that the time you wasted rallying against those evil crackers could have been better spent in college earning an education. But no, you’d rather go around pointing fingers at anyone who is not with your little group—and it is little when compared to those who think you look like clowns. The police aren’t killing the young African American male; they are killing each other. But it’s easier to blame the police rather than the mother who didn’t raise their sons responsibly. And don’t give me the single mother jive because that’s no excuse. Go crying to my mother about it and she’ll tell you a thing or two about being a single mother raising two sons.

You are a minority by every definition of the word only because you choose to remain one. You and your fellow members have every right to make something of yourselves but because you still believe that you are being oppressed—you’re actually prisoners of your own mind—you use that as a mechanism to make the world feel sorry for you.

Well, I don’t. And there’s a good chance that my boss doesn’t, either. A former gang member, he’s been a successful magazine publisher for the last 25 years.

Oppressed? I don’t think so.

Yet the sad thing is, the media buys into this nonsense. It’s good ratings. It’s not that they believe you; if they ignored you, you’d be the first to call them racists. Seems you can’t win either way. And in the end, you never have anything to say except the same old biblical rhetoric that elicits shouts of AMEN and GO ON and MMM HMM from your followers.

So to Tony Muhammad, Danny Bakewell, and any of these attention-whoring, so-called community activists, a fancy term for “non-working troublemaker,” the world owes you nothing. I owe you nothing and I don’t want anything from you. Your group is only a blip on the radar of life, a blip that I wish would somehow get lost in the Bermuda Triangle and never be heard from again.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Another Trip to Marukai

Yes, we spent some more money at the Marukai Super 98+ store today. Note that they are now "98+" as they carry items more than their traditional 98-cent price point. Their high-end merchandise will cost you from $1.25 to $1.50. Still, not bad.

Today's finds included volumes 4, 8, and 9 of "Classical Music on TV" CDs. They are CDs that have various classical tunes that were used for Japanese commercials. Most of them are recognizable. I mean, hey for $1.50, you get some pretty good tunes. Volume 4 alone has the William Tell Overture and In The Hall of the Mountain King, both instantly known by most.

What would have really been cool was if the CDs had videos of the commercials. Oh well. I also managed to find some reflectorized stickers to put on my bike, as well as a flashing red LED light. Damn, I just spent $8 for one at Target! There was this sticker I should have gotten, too. It just was a red square with the silhouette of a presumably vicious dog and the word "DANGER" superimposed over it--in English and Japanese. It looked so damn cool; it could probably work well on a t-shirt.

Again, I highly recommend this joint. And they now have website goodness! Find a location, go there, and be prepared to spend lots of yen!
If you go to the Fountain Valley location, eat at J&J Subs which is in the same parking lot, next to the Baskin Robins. Great food and always-friendly people.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

You're A Jackass

To whoever took the opportunity to use my blog comment area as a means of advertising for "hot stocks": You're a jackass.

For those of you who want to leave actual comments about my posts, you must be a registered member. Comments will also show up in a popup window and not be part of the post. And for the record, I deleted the spam in question.

Thanks to you, zimb0gxja82nlzy, whoever the hell you are, for making me do this. Go spam somewhere else ya worthless idiot.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I Want to Ride My Bicycle...

On Sunday, I opened up the shed and was greeted to the overpowering smell of week-old cut grass and gasoline. After letting it air out for a minute I went back in and wheeled out the old Huffy Canyon 18-speed mountain bike.

Yes, it's old. No, I don't care. I rarely rode the thing to begin with. But I've started to ride it again in the evenings to give Ann a break from the kid--and from me.

I've got one of those kid buggies attached to the end of the bike so I can bring Anthony along with me on my Adventures through Long Beach. When we first tried it months ago he wasn't too happy about wearing the helmet or being strapped in. But he's a little older now and he absolutely loves riding in it. In fact, on Sunday we ended up riding nearly 4 miles. Not too bad.

And that's what motivated me. It didn't seem like I rode that much, and considering I lugged around an almost 30-lb. baby in a 15-lb. cart, I'd say I did alright. So now I'm keeping track of how many miles I'm riding. Thank Jesus/Allah/Buddha for my Garmin eTrex Legend GPS unit which I can now easily strap to the handlebars with the handlebar mount I found on clearance at Target for $7.48. From Sunday through today, I've gone 7.48 miles, average speed of 7.1mph, average top speed of 13.2mph.

I'm trying to ride at least 2 miles a day, which is really nothing. Maybe later I'll be daring and go for 5 miles. I've ridden more but without the added was also years ago when my knees could handle it.

After doing this for a few days, I forgot how much fun it is to get out there and ride a bike. Well, that small-as-hell seat that really hurts my ass doesn't help matters, but it's still great exercise. You begin to see your neighborhood in greater detail. You say hi to joggers and fellow cyclists out for their nightly jaunt. You just get out and have a good time.

And it lulls Anthony to sleep, which is probably the best reward I can think of.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Don't Do It!

Like anybody else, I get tired of everything I hear on the radio and need a change once and a while. So every now and then I switch over to KFI 640 for some "stimulating talk radio" as they call it. While I enjoy Bill Handel tremendously, John and Ken kind of work my nerves but in an amusing way.

At any rate, I heard a promo on their show for a free 3-day, 2-night stay at a "5-Star Las Vegas Strip resort." Being a Las Vegas veteran, I know that most every place there gave up on the term "hotel and casino" and now refer to themselves as a "resort." It's just the thing to do.

So I got to thinking. A free vacation at a Strip resort? Which will it be? The Mirage? Caesar's Palace? Bellagio? More importantly, what do I have to do?

Curiosity got the best of me. I called the number when I got in my car and waited. And waited.

Finally, it picked up. I was shocked and dismayed to hear the recorded voice of Alan Thicke telling me to wait for the next operator. It wasn't someone who sounded like him; he clearly identified himself as Alan Thicke.

That's when I knew this was some kind of racket. I mean, c'mon. Alan Fucking Thicke from "Thicke of the Night" having any kind of job in 2005? Was this some kind of joke?

Well, sort of. After hearing Alan Thicke's recorded message somewhere near 20 times and being nearly suicidal as a result, I got an operator. That's when I got the bad news.

This isn't for an actual big-name Las Vegas resort. It's for a goddamn timeshare called Soleil and in order to "qualify" for your stay, you have to attend some seminar and give them a credit card number. I said yes to the seminar but told them I didn't have a credit card. Yes, I lied and you would, too.

Once they got all my information they told me they'd send a packet with everything I needed to know. Almost 4 months later I still haven't gotten anything.

I suppose it's just as well. Fuck you, Alan Thicke.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


At this time, there is a rat inside one of the walls of my home. We heard it eating away at the structure this morning.

Can't image why we have rats around here. Could be the grapefruit tree. Or the orange tree. Or perhaps it's the fact that my trailer-trash neighbors caught one and hung it up by its tail on their clothesline:


I mean, I did a lot of stupid and strange things when I was young, but they never involved hanging a deceased, diseased animal by its tail. Not only that, chronologically these guys are adults. Mentally, I dunno.

Stupidity aside, this is a health issue. Anthony's 16 months, our neighbor on the other side of Motel 6--the loving nickname given to our trailer trash neighbor's house as they frequently "leave the light on" for guests--also have a small child. And yes, there's a smaller child living at Motel 6, too. This might have even been hung up by the kid's dad. Can you imagine...?

The Health Department has been called. I'm waiting for their callback. I had to take a day off work to buy rat traps, cut down the orange tree, and other assorted Verminator activities.

Got to get going.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Quick Post!

I saw the picture below via a link on Fark. I added some text to it for the hell of it.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

People Suck

For the umpteenth time in, I don't know, a week, I found myself at Lowes with Ann and the kid. The weather's getting warm--it's currently 75 degrees--so Ann wanted to buy and plant some rose bushes. And while our poor checkout experience was worthy of a blog entry in and of itself, I'd rather make talk about something else.

But before I begin, I want to say that I'm not a PETA freak. I eat meat and to a lot of other things they may not like. So once you read this, let's not skirt the issue by telling me I'm a carnivore--that's completely irrelevant.

At any rate...

An Open Letter to Those Who Leave Their Pets in Cars on Hot Days

Okay, listen up, you diphthong. You are miserable fuck that shouldn't even own a dog. You obviously don't know enough about them to take care of them properly.

Case in point: dogs can't sweat, you unforgiving asshole. That's why they pant--they don't have much of a choice when it comes to cooling down. They are also covered in fur which probably makes them wish they could sweat since their fuckhead of a master left them to FUCKING DIE OF HEAT EXHAUSTION IN A MERCEDES-BENZ M-CLASS WHILE WAITING FOR THEM TO BUY A FUCKING BAG OF TURF BUILDER AT GODDAMN LOWES. Well, at least they'll suffer in luxury.

There's no doubt about it: you are a fucking moron. And before you say, "But I left a window open for them," that does not provide adequate ventilation. For shits and giggles, why don't you wrap youself in duct tape and sit in that car for, I don't know, 5 minutes--without water or better yet, your venti Frapuccino from Starbucks? How well will you fare, Biff Macho or Soccer Mom Suzie? And here's a thought: ever see a dog wagging its tail while they are inside a hot car? No? It's probably because they do that WHEN THEY ARE HAPPY. They tend to droll and get a bit skittish when their insides are being cooked like a piece of Sizzlean. Drive around with the heat on all the way in the middle of summer and you'll only begin to scratch the surface on what your dog feels like trapped in that car.

I just don't understand the reasoning behind this. If you needed to take them somewhere, do what you had to to first and then take them, for shit's sake. But no, for the sake of convenience, you'd rather let them sit in a parked car in the middle of FUCKING SUMMER where temperatures can GET AS HIGH AS 120 DEGREES in as little as 15 MINUTES on a hot day. There's just no excuse for this and absolutely no defense. Complete assholes, the whole lot of you.

So to whoever does this--you know who you are--I ask that you please not bring any children into this world. They don't have a snowball's chance with an idiot like you as their parent.

If you do have kids, I hope you can explain to they why their best friend Buttons had to do to Doggie Heaven so soon. Have that explanation handy, sparky. You'll need it sooner than you think. And when that dog gets to Heaven, I hope they give them a fire hydrant with your picture on it so they can take one of those long pisses on you for all eternity.

And when you get to Hell, I hope they lock you in a car--with the heat on and windows up. Stupid fucker.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

It's Been a Year!

Has it really been a year since I started this blog? Yes, it has. Here's my first post. 96 posts, including this one, and 1,512 hits. Not bad I guess.

But enough of that. Today Ann and I decided to inflate the pool we got last year at Target on clearance (regular $29.99, clearance for $7.48--I rule!) It's one of those three-ringer jobs that can hold about three people. The problem was that although I'm full of hot air, there was no possible way for me to fill it with my own oxygen.

So I went and asked my neighbor if he had a compressor. He said he did, but that it overheated when he inflated his pool which is smaller than ours.

Then Ann had an idea. She wondered if the Shop-Vac was also a blower as some of them used to be. We checked and no, it didn't blow.

At that point is when it hit me. Last year for Christmas, Ann's dad gave me a leaf blower/sucker. We have a huge tree in front of the house and it makes a mess in the fall, so that's why he got it for me.

The mother of invention strikes again!

I plugged the blower in, Ann removed the plugs from the pool, and I let it rip. We had that pool inflated in--literally--30 seconds.

But it took at least an hour to fill it! The next time we do it, I'll take pics. It's kinda funny. Maybe I'll shoot a video for shits and giggles.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Not Bad...

You might recall my post on January 9, 2005 in which I decided to start a diet. While I kept results for a while then I suddenly stopped. I felt as if things were going well, so why bother?

That was 6 months and about 7 days ago.

Today I had to go to the doctor as I'd been wheezing for a few days after my cold had subsided. After the nurse weighed me, I asked her to check the chart to compare my weight to the previous visit.

I was 15 pounds lighter, so that means even if I fell of the truck and went back into my former eating habits, I still managed to keep 15 pounds off over 6 months.

I'm happy about that. Very happy. But I need to stay with it and not let that get to my head. So I guess I'll be back on the Ab Lounger soon.

Oh, and we're headed to the OC Fair tonight for the second time, sans Anthony. Think he had a good time last time? Check it out:

And if you want to see a great, free show, I'd recommend the Peking Acrobats. Pretty amazing.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I'm Back!

There was a post on June 29 called "Glad I'm Healthy...." Well, it should be pointed out that I'm not as healthy as I thought I was.

As was mentioned in that post, Anthony and Ann were sick and I had to take a few days off of work to care for them. So you can only guess what happened on July 4th, right? I started to get sick, and it lasted the entire week. And I'm still a bit wheezy.

That explains my lack of posts lately. But I'll be back--there's plenty to talk about--later.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Cripes, I'm Getting Old...

So I was watching VH1 Classic today and Pat Benatar's video for "Fire and Ice" came on. And as usual, I watched it.

It's not because I had a crush on Benatar. Well, okay, she did have one hell of a voice back in the day. The reason I still watch this video is simple: I'm in it.

Yeah, me. Way back in the 80s, my brother won tickets to this event from KFI when they were still a music station. It was on a little soundstage in Hollywood and the band performed at least four songs. A performance, not lip-sync. And it was pretty good.

At any rate, I believe it was me, my brother, and a few neighborhood friends who ended up going. We stood near the back of the crowd for some reason. I'm pretty easy to spot because I'm wearing an old Toronto Blue Jays hat. When the camera pans the crowd near the beginning of the video, you can see the top of the hat. Yeah, that's me.

Need proof? Here's a few screen grabs:

Or, you watch near the end of this clip. It happens fast, so look near the bottom of the screen near the center:

"Fire and Ice" video clip (WMV file, 7.48 MB)

So there you have it. I get around, don't I?