Thursday, December 14, 2006


Man, I'm telling you. There's always something interesting to see when I take the train to work.

Take this morning, for instance. I had just walked up to the platform of the Green Line station when I noticed some smoke billowing from the street below. Upon further review it looked like a car on fire. There was already a fire department on scene.

So I stood and watched while I waited for the train. The smoke got darker and heavier as the fire continued to burn. Then it got even thicker. Finally the flames got higher.

And then it happened.

BOOM! the gas tank on the car exploded. And let me tell you, it was loud. The power of the blast hit me right in the chest--and I was far away. I can only imagine what it must have felt like to the firefighters trying to extinguish the damn thing.

It was one of those moments when you realize the stranger standing next to you is just as human as you. Looking at the reactions of the people around me, it was all the same--utter surprise. My eyes met those of a guy in his mid-20s. We both said "DAAAYUM!" at the same time. It was pretty funny.

And as if seeing stuff like this isn't enough, then there's the filming of Fox's "Stand Off" that was done last week literally in front of my office building.


*checks date of last post*

*checks today's date*

Hey, hi there! Holy crap, it's been a long time. My time is now at a premium since my days are so much longer than they were before, and I hardly spend any time online anymore.

But that's going to change I think.

I'm planning on taking at least one night a week--after everybody has nodded off--to update this blog of mine. It's just a plan but we'll see how it goes. And trust me, there's lots to talk about!

Keep an eye on this place. Fresh posts and pics will soon follow!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

"All These Guys Look Like Dicks..."

If it's not to late, I'd like to nominate my wife for Quote of the Year, which just happened to be the title of today's blog entry. Her quote couldn't have fit the time or place more perfectly than it did yesterday.

It was then when we decided to head on over to the Orange County Marketplace, better known to us as the Orange County swap meet. The swap meet takes place on the same property as the Orange County Fairgrounds which, when the fair is over, is home to many other events throughout the year.

When we arrived at the fairgrounds we were greeted by a large amount of traffic, but not just ordinary traffic. A majority of the vehicles were shiny Ford or Chevy trucks lifted at least five feet off the ground with gigantic off-road tires. Okay, maybe the five feet is a slight exaggeration, but they were all off the ground high enough to where one could easily squat underneath.

As we pulled into the lot, we figured out why there were so many I-need-to-compensate-for-my-tiny-manhood trucks in the area. A sign that read "Sand and Sea Expo" or something to that effect was posted at the entrance, and that's where all these guys with wives/girlfriends whose skin looked like beef jerky were headed.

Not only did all of their trucks look alike in terms of J.C. Whitney aftermarket accessories that included cold-air intakes and trailer hitch covers embedded with beer bottle openers or had "Remove for River" emblazoned across them, all the guys themselves looked the same: not exactly in shape and wearing some sort of t-shirt or tank top with a speed shop graphic on the back, shorts, flip-flops, shoulder hair, and close-to-the-skull haircuts. In short, they looked like a crowd whose philosophy on life could have easily been adopted from a display at their local Big Dogs store.

Additionally, none of these fuckers could drive if their life depended on it as at least three of them almost ran us over in the parking lot.

And that, my friends, is when Ann blurted out this verbal gem, and my vote for Quote of the Year:

"All these guys look like dicks," she calmly spouted as the last asshole in a lifted Nissan Titan nearly smacked into Anthony's stroller. The driver waved apologetically. We kept walking without acknowledging him.

I began laughing at what she said and as I tried to re-gain my composure while taking Ann's quote into consideration, upon further review by inspecting each and every passing couple heading into the expo, I couldn't help but notice something--she was absolutely right. It was like some strange fraternity of mid-life crisis sufferers joining forces with 20-somethings struggling for so badly for acceptance and identity that this was all they could find, and the one thing they had in common was drinking their collective ass off at the river.

And when I really think about it, I'm surprised we were allowed entry into the parking lot since 1) we were driving an SUV not a truck, and 2) it was absent of a trailer hitch with a funny cover.

But what matters most is we had a good time at the swap meet, despite the presence of guys formed from the giant dick-mold and their significant others with body parts made of plastic.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"Handy Manny" Review

Okay, so about a month ago, my brother gave me a DVD that contained four new episodes of Disney Channel’s new show “Handy Manny”.

The show doesn’t air until this weekend, but allow me to give you a quick review.

Anthony, all of two-and-a-half, didn’t seem all that impressed with the CG characters, most of which are likeable. They teach the usual good qualities taught in every child’s show, and do it with a sense of humor that even Anthony didn’t find all that amusing. In fact, he didn’t even finish watching it. He went off and began playing with his Hot Wheels or something.

But let’s get to the heart of the matter here. Handy Manny himself is voiced my Wilmer Valderama, or Fez from “That 70s Show”. His voice is scratchy, unappealing, and downright dull. It sounds as if he was late for a dentist’s appointment or that this was the only job his agent could get him and he was pissed off at the pay scale. He’s boring, monotone, and just does not fit the Handy Manny character. He needs to take a lesson from Greg Proops who voices Bob the Builder, and does it with enthusiasm and give the character some personality.

Also, the music by Los Lobos seems to be a bit too ethnic and really accentuates the fact that Manny is, for all intents and purposes, Hispanic. They might as well have Handy Manny’s relatives stop by in the taco wagon for lunch. Hey, I’m Hispanic too, but you don’t see a mariachi band following me everywhere I go playing “Cielito Lindo”.

At any rate, it begins this weekend. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I Hate to Sound Like a Commercial...

But check this out.

Ann and I went car shopping today just to see what was out there. We've been in the market for a smaller SUV-type vehicle for a few months now and with the settlement close at hand, we chose to make today the day we seriously began looking.

We ended up at Ken Grody Ford in Buena Park. This wasn't a random choice; I had purchased a new Escort there back in 2000 based on the recommendation of a salesperson at a Toyota dealer down the street. Since my credit was bad back then, he told me to ask for Amador and he would take care of me.

And did he ever. Buying a new car was never so painless than it was at Ken Grody, both in 2000 and again in 2006--even though Amador wasn't the one who took care of us today. From the moment we arrived to the time of delivery, the good folks there took great care in seeing that all of our needs were met. They even qualified us for Ford Motor Credit's zero-down, zero-point-zero financing promotion that doesn't begin until tomorrow (Thursday). They also threw in a few extras for being repeat buyers. Total time at the dealership, including the test drive, was less than two hours. Yes, you heard right. There was no haggling, no pressure, nothing. We told them what we could do and they made it happen. We almost felt guilty since there wasn't the usual I-beat-the-dealer feeling after the purchase was complete. It almost felt...well, wrong, if you know what I mean.

With no money down, we drove off in a loaded 2006 Escape XLT for $25k before taxes and whatnot. The bad news? I traded in my 2002 Sentra SE-R in order to get the Escape for Ann. But the good news was that they gave me $7,500 for it with $10k still owed on it.

So we're pretty happy about the purchase. I'd highly recommend this dealership to anyone in Southern California who is interested in buying any Ford product in the near future. And tell them I sent you. Seriously, they'll give me $250 if I refer you and you buy something from them!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Who Is This Guy?

Yeah, yeah. It's been way too long since I posted anything. So here I go.

On Sunday, Ann and I attended the Chiense Food Festival in L.A.'s Chinatown. Of course we took the MTA trains there. Don't be silly.

And what an event it was. Chinese food everywhere, and it was fantastic. Perhaps some of the best I've ever had. There's no doubt I will be disappointed the next time we go to our favorite Chinese place for dinner.

There was such a great vibe at the event. It would seem that food truly does make people happy as everyone I encountered had a smile on their face and was ultra-friendly. Although it was a little hot, it was a fun way to spend a summer Sunday.

Digital Documentation of the event can be seen here. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Memories fade
But the scars still linger

--Tears For Fears

I miss you, Dad.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Quick Post!

Just a real quick note here.

Taking the train to work, I went 20 days between gas fill-ups. My car's low gas indicator light finally came on yesterday.

What else can I say? Go Metro!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Day Out with Thomas!

We just had to be there.

We made a trip to Fillmore, CA to see the "real-life" Thomas the Tank Engine. Ann and I had known about this event for some time now and at first were debating on if we should go. As the tickets began to sell out, we decided we should get in on this. And we're glad we did.

The tickets entitled the bearers to a 20-minute ride lead by Thomas himself, although I seriously think the locomotive at the end of the train was more or less the real power behind the train, Thomas being more of a caboose than anything.

Basically, the train backed out from Central Park station in downtown Fillmore, went for about 10 minutes, and then headed back with Thomas leading the way. Not exactly a tour of wine country, but Anthony didn't care. In fact, upon our arrival to the event an hour ahead of time, Anthony's first glance at the bright blue engine elicited one loud reponse: "WOOOOOOOWWWWW!"

The rest of the day was spent enjoying the activities: temporary tattoos, coloring, food, and more. Fillmore is definitely not a big city and it shows. The people were kind, the atmosphere relaxed. One indication that I was no longer in the city was when we were riding the train. At one point, there was the strong smell of cilantro and tangerines coming from the fields that were as far as the eye could see.

Downtown Fillmore reminded me a lot of downtown Fullerton (CA), another city made famous for its railways. Fillmore, however, hit me as being more authentic as it still is a small town. Fullerton's downtown district now just seems to be a backdrop for the non-stop traffic that clogs its narrow streets. This event probably brings in more traffic than the residents care to think about.

We went to a panaderia and bought some bread. Awesome stuff. After talking to my brother about our trip, we're convinced that someone should make car air fresheners in a "Panaderia" scent in the shape of the gingerbread pig. If heaven smells like anything, it's a panaderia.

Another fun part of the trip was eating at the Bob's Big Boy in Santa Paula. Granted, the burger wasn't as big or as good as I remember, but for nostalgia purposes it definitely worked. And I got my picture taken with the Big Boy himself.

For Digital Documentation, click here.

We spent lots of money. We ate at the Big Boy. But we just had to be there.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Goodnight, Kita

It's been over a month since my last post, so I thought I'd do one tonight. Be warned, however, that it is a sad one.

The picture above is of me and Kita, a cat that has been in our family for 20 years. Up until about a week ago she appeared to be fine. She was eating, drinking, and doing her usual strutting around.

She lived with my mom who called me tonight and let me know that Kita, quite possible the best cat we've ever had, is in bad shape. Kita stopped doing all of the aforementioned things and Mom had made the decision that tomorrow, April 24, our beloved Kita would have to be put to sleep.

So by the time most of you read this, our family will be a member short. And it breaks my heart.

Kita was the best. Every weekend Mom would fry some bacon and Kita would sit at the stove until it was ready. She always got a strip. She also liked to eat tortillas, bread, and crackers. Yes, she did eat cat food as well. The regular food was a way of rewarding her. And when she wanted water, she would stand at the kitchen sink until someone turned on the spigot.

I can't ever remember Kita hissing, scratching, or ever being mean-tempered. She was one of the most calm cats I ever owned.

Probably one of the funniest memories I have of her was one time when she was curled up beside me on the bed. I was relaxing watching some TV in my room, which had those old roll-up shades over the window. As I lay there, the shade decided to roll up on its own and Kita--well, let's just say she was in the living room before the shade was completely up. It scared the hell out of her, and the poor thing looked spooked when I went to find her. I had never seen a cat move that fast in my life. I always said that she used up one of her lives on that one.

Somewhere along the way she gracefully used up another 7, and tomorrow Number 9 will be over--a life that we will all miss.

I went over to see Kita one last time and my brother took the picture you see. It will be the last time she will ever curl up on me. And I wasn't going to leave the house until she purred. I held her for about a half hour tonight, and I didn't want to let her go. I told her we're going to miss her and we loved her. I only felt better when she began purring.

It was hard saying goodbye to the old girl, but 20 years is very old for a cat. And I thank God that she was around that long for us to enjoy.

So goodnight, Kita. We all love you and will miss you terribly.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Job Update: Final

It took nearly a month, several interviews, a few new outfits, extra gas money, some frustration, lots of waiting, and time off from work to accommodate my potential employer's requests. And it finally paid off yesterday.

It was then that I was officially offered my job. Of course I accepted.

My rate of pay will be significantly more than my current rate. Let's just say I could probably purchase a Scion xB with the annual difference in pay. Not that I would ever do that, but you get the idea.

I will be turning in my resignation letter tomorrow, and I start my new job on April 10th.

Am I happy? Yes, I am.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Job Update

So you're probably wondering how the interview went, no? Here you go.

I had to take two proofreading tests, two computer-related tests, and two English tests. The results:

Proofreading (English catalog page): 15/16 mistakes found
Proofreading (French form letter): 15/16 mistakes found
Excel: 85%
Word: 80%
Grammar: 70%
Spelling: 100%

With the exception of the proofreading tests, each consisted of anywhere from 20-30 questions. They were timed anywhere from 15-30 minutes. And from what they told me, I ranked the highest on the proofreading tests so far (the ones I missed were common among everybody tested so far, so I don't feel so bad). They had two more applicants to interview so I should know by the end of next week what their decision was.

This is going to be the longest week I've been through in a long time...

Monday, March 06, 2006

Wish Me Luck...

An ugly situation happened at work last week which pushed me to the point of almost quitting on the spot. It's a long story I won't cover right now.

Since then I have been busy looking for a new job. And after only three days of searching I found one that could work out.

I am going for testing on Wednesday, testing that will cover grammar, spelling, proofreading, and Word and Excel skills. I'm a bit nervous about it, so wish me luck. If I get it, I will be making $10,000 to $17,000 more than what I currently make annually. That would be very nice indeed.

Here's hoping I do well. I will post updates on things as they happen. And be prepared for something big if I do get the job.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Hail to the Queens

Today I witnessed an event that may never happen again. The Queen Mary 2, currently the world's largest luxury ocean liner, met her namesake, the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA.

I chose to play hooky from work so that we could make it a family event. Since we have our annual passes, we decided to kill some time at the Aquarium of the Pacific before the historic event. It turned out to be a pretty good plan: the aquarium was empty at 9am, and we ended up getting a great, albeit distant, view of the two ladies meeting. And of course, I took some pictures.

I had expected the QM2 to get a little closer to the QM than she did, but I'll take what I can get. The photo below gives you a good idea of where we were:

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For that reason, I had to rely on the digital zoom on my camera. This may explain why some of the photos are a bit fuzzy. Here are some more:

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The QM2 was lead by a LAFD fireboat firing water from all cannons, which is always a sight to see. There also were blimps, helicopters, skydivers, skywriters with messages of "Hail the Queens" and "Welcome Queen Mary 2," and boats--lots of boats. I don't think I had ever seen so many helicopters over my head since they sprayed malathion to rid us of the overhyped Mediterranean fruit fly invasion back in the 90s.

The highlight of the day was when the ladies saluted each other with blasts from their horns. The QM2 went first, which was loud but muffled. The crowd cheered.

Then the QM blew her horn, and the locals went absolutely nuts. I'm not saying it was loud, but you could practically feel the bass hitting your chest. She's indeed a grand old ship, and when the wind blows just right, we can hear the horn blast at home (we're about 7 miles away). It's something you grow to love if you live in Long Beach.

I'm also trying something different: panoramic shots. They were the only way to crop to the subjects:

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And finally, here they are in the same shot:

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You won't likely ever see this again.

Oh, and just as we arrived, there was a camera crew from Paramount Studios loading up some equipment after what appeared to be the end of a day of shooting. It was obvious some filming was going on beforehand, but who knows what for. I guess I'll find out eventually!

Monday, February 06, 2006

"You Have Problems..."

Don't we all? Well, my problems were evident to a strange woman whom I found trespassing on my property this morning.

I had just finished my breakfast and was packing up my lunchbox when I heard a noise right outside the kitchen. It was a pretty loud thud.

I glanced out the kitchen window to see a woman walking down my driveway. She had just deposited something in my trashcan which was uncharacteristically in plain view, and that thud was the sound of the lid slamming shut. I usually place the trashcan behind a makeshift dustbin in front of the house, but because Ann and I were collecting trash last night, I left it in the driveway.

After thinking about it for a moment, I soon realized this was the same lady that I saw dump a pile of her dog's shit in my neighbor's trashcan one day when it was in plain view. She wasn't going to get away with it with me.

So I began to call the lady back from inside kitchen but she couldn't hear me. I then exited the kitchen, went to the trashcan, and found a little yellow plastic bag with the dogshit inside. I carefully grabbed it.

"Excuse me," I told the lady, arm outstretched with the dogshit bag dangling from the tips of my fingers. "You forgot something." She looked absolutely shocked.

"I just saw you put this in my trashcan. Go put it in yours, please." Her mouth was agape.

"Would you rather have me leave it on your yard?" she said.

"I'd rather have you put it in your own trashcan and to stay off my property," I replied. She still looked shocked, so she had this next line coming.

"Look, lady. I've already seen you put your dog's shit in my neighbor's trashcan. Now take this and go put it in yours." Dead silence for a moment. Then she came back with a real crusher.

As she took the bag from me and headed down the sidewalk to attend to a dog that was smaller than half of my cat, she managed to utter the following:

"You have problems." I laughed and walked back into the house.

Yeah, lady. I have problems. No, I really do. And at the moment, they were:

- A stranger on my property, aka a trespasser
- Said trespasser putting their dogshit in my trashcan on my property

While I do give her credit for picking up the steaming pile, the point was that whether she did or didn't, he dogshit would still be on my property--either on the yard or in my trash--and that she willingly entered my property to dispose of it. I'm not cool with that. If I really had "problems" as she said, I could have come out screaming and weilding a Wiffle bat or something.

There's a good chance that this woman is one of those who puts her dog--it's probably got some stupid name like Poopsie--high on a pedestal, feeds it lean ground beef from a silver fork, and lets it do wherever the hell it pleases. And that's fine if you're into that.

But I'm wondering how she would like it if I went over to her house and made a deposit of fresh, steaming catshit nuggets in her trashcan. Somehow I doubt it.

Ann already told me how she plans to remedy this problem. She's going to set the sprinklers to go on at the time she walks her 3-pound hound by our place. And our sprinklers do tend to overshoot the yard sometimes.

Changing's some phone-cam shots of the aftereffects of the Anaheim Hiils wildfires. It's not too far from work:

This was the sun rising this morning:

Ugly stuff, folks. Ashes everywhere.

Monday, January 30, 2006

No Regrets

When I first bought my iPod, I had this sinking feeling I'd be regretting that decision. But after learning that the Zen Vision:M is partnered with Microsoft's PlayForSure MP3 system, I was glad I didn't buy it. I hear it can be a real pain the arse.

Besides, there's lots of cool accessories for the iPod:

I picked up this Boynq iCube at Target today for a mere $15 on clearance. I almost bought it a few days earlier at regular price: $39! I'm glad I waited! It's a charger/speaker system that works with just about any iPod. And I like it. BTW, the music playing (see display) is a ripped copy of my Depeche Mode X1 and X2 box set. Don't worry; you don't have it ;) It's that rare.

Other happenings: We went to Disneyland on Saturday and man, what an experience that was. Anthony was about as crabby as he could be for the first hour. In fact, we actually left after an hour--he was that bad. But after eating dinner, we bundled him up pertty good and he was ready to head back.

He enjoyed the Enchanted Tiki Room, as did Ann. I'm sure it was a sentimental moment for her because she grandmother used to sing the Tiki Room song with her when Ann was little. That, and "Look for the Union Label" (you young'ans better go look that up).

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And being that this is Disneyland's 50th anniversary, they've really gone all out to let you know:

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You can't swing a cat in that place without hitting something that reads "50" on it. We didn't buy any souvenirs since there is a Disney's Character Warehouse outlet store near work. They get all the old stuff that the park couldn't move and sell it all at incredibly cheap prices. A quick trip during lunch is as good as going to Disneyland for gifts--only a lot cheaper. Just one of the advangates to living out here in SoCal.

Another thing they have done is decorate some of the attractions in gold. Here I am sitting in a gold teacup:

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Here's Ann and the kid in a gold Dumbo:

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Another cool thing they've done was create photomosaics from pictures submitted by guests from their trips to Disneyland over the years:

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Speaking of trips from years ago, I still have this shirt (but can't find my Captain EO light-up LED visor):

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All in all, a memorable trip. And being we're from SoCal, our ticket is good for a future visit to California Adventure, Disneyland's red-headed stepchild! Can't complain too much, I guess!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I Lied...

Remember me saying that the Creative Zen Vision:M was going to be my next MP3 player? Well, I lied.

I went to Fry's Electronics today in the hopes that they would have the Zen Vision:M. They are carrying it, but it was currently out of stock. After contemplating about waiting another week or so, and considering the video flexibility of it vs. how many videos I might actually put on it, the iPod won.

I'm currently taking a break from the transferring which is not going well. I am not pleased at having to use iTunes to export from my other MP3 player, or that drag-and-dropping onto it is not allowed (I accidentally lost the video for Depeche Mode's "Precious" while deleting files from it). But I just downloaded some software that will hopefully do the trick.

As it stands now, I like my new toy. Amazingly small for 30GB. The transferring continues...

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Hell With It...

Okay, you've probably alread noticed that my "Free iPod banner" is now gone. And there's a good reason for it.

Turns out I completed 2 offers through that so-called rewards program and never got the proper credit for them. Not like I ever expected to, but still.

Anyway, since my Archos AV140 is still non-functional and my backup MP3 player's hard drive is beginning to make crunching sounds, I decided to invest in a brand new one. It'll actually be my birthday present--it's on Valentine's Day--as it has not been released just yet.

I'm talking about this:

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Creative Labs' Zen Vision:M. After searching into the wee hours of the morning for weeks on end, this was my choice. Sure, I could have an iPod for $30 less, but this one seemed to appeal to me better. It also has a longer battery life and plays a larger variety of video files. I'm actually thinking about the Skittle-green one shown here, but any color would do.

So I didn't get my free iPod. But after reading the rave reviews the Zen Vision:M received, I'm glad I waited before I invested too much time into that "free" scam. Our taxes are done; our credit cards now paid off. Time to do a little splurging!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Thomas Project, Day 3

Major progress!

While watching yet another Thomas DVD, Anthony decided to take a nap on the bean bag. In fact, he's still asleep on there as I type! This gave me the perfect opportunity to put a dent in the project.

A coat of Gesso was applied on the whole thing:

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It may not look like much now, but this is just a base coat. Once it dries I can begin applying the colors. Then it will begin to take shape.

Other things that have kept me busy:

Customizing my new cell phone, which included creating and downloading some wallpaper images. I also downloaded the Mario Bros. theme ringtone. You have no idea how long I've been wanting that.

Here's one of the images I generated for the front screen:

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Note that I am neither dirty or a white boy. If I have to explain, you wouldn't understand. For those of you who watch ATHF and like my little creation, feel free to snag it and use it for your phone, avatar, etc.

Oh, and we went to Portillo's in Buena Park yesterday. My God, those are great hot dogs. Documentation provided by the LG VX8100 cam-phone:

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Anthony was asleep while Ann and I ate, but he woke up on the way home:

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That's all for now. Back to downloading more albums!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


My life's been full of interesting decisions lately. I'm not talking life-or-death decisions, just in general.

For example, we went to get new cell phones the other day. While I could have opted for something that simply made calls, Ann applied some logic to the situation: "If you're going to have it for a couple of years, you might as well get something good."

And so we did. We ended up with the LG VX8100. It's got so much crap on it that I don't know what to do half the time. I didn't really need a camera on my phone but I have one now. Here's a shot from the L.A. Auto Show (Saab convertable; image made lo-res for posting goodness):

It's not the sharpest but c''s my friggin' phone! It also has a Mini SD slot to store photos and videos shot with it. Oh, and you can play MP3s on it. Pretty amazing stuff.

Speaking of MP3s, I've also bee contemplating what to do with my old Archos AV140. I like the 40GB of storage and being able to record TV shows onto it, so I'm not really willing to give that up for something that has a smaller storage capacity, does not record, and costs considerably more. Granted, it was me that tried to charge it by using a universal adapter which I believe fried something inside it (it no longer accepts a charge). Repairing it through Archos will cost about $80, which could be put towards something else.

But I like my old MP3 player! And being that there are so many out there, I don't want to have to shop all over again. So there's a good chance I'll send it to the factory and have it refurbished. Just can't see spending more for something that does less.

Oh, and we're choosing on where to go for our vacation sometime in May. There's a chance we could go to Hawaii for dirt cheap but I'm not planning on it. So far, and once again, Las Vegas is the likely destination.

Who knows where we'll end up.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Lou Rawls: 1933-2006

Granted, most of us only knew Lou Rawls for his 1976 smash hit "You'll Never Find (Another Love Like Mine)" which propelled him to the top of the charts and even garnered him a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performace. It's one of those songs that everybody knows, even my 23-year-old co-worker (I played the song in memory of Rawls loudly in my office upon hearing of his passing).

But to place him in the One Hit Wonder catagory would be wrong on so many levels. Rawls was a consummate entertainer who lent his velvety smooth voice to cartoons, played a bit part in Baywatch Nights, and hosted the United Negro College Fund's annual "Parade of Stars" (now known as "An Evening of Stars") telethon. Through his efforts, millions of dollars were raised for the organization. And hell, even Frank Sinatra praised him for for having "the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game." That's something.

The irony of Rawls' passing is that the 2006 telethon--it was recorded in November 2005--has already begun to air in certain markets across the U.S.--the same day as his death. So even though he has passed on, the world will still get one last glimpse of the Natural Man this weekend, doing what he loved. And I'm sure it'll be a bittersweet moment for his fans.

I received media RSVP information back in October about attending the event taping. I thought long and hard about it but being that it was during the week, I opted not to go. But I could have gone to the show and had backstage access. I could have rubbed shoulders with the man himself. Damn.

The 2007 telethon won't be the same without his amazing voice and presence. RIP, Mr. Rawls. You will be missed.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

And While I'm Here...

I want to give a shout-out to If you've got bulk quantities of digital images to be printed, this truly is the way to go.

I placed an order of nearly 250 prints on December 29, 2005, and received them today. Not bad considering the holiday rush that they may have dealt with. The total was around $29. Prints (4x6) are 12 cents each, and shipping is 99 cents flat for no matter how many prints you have.

The only problem I've had has been with uploading. It can take a long time, but if you've waited long enough to have hundreds of digital images printed, it's worth the time and price.

The quality is comparable to your standard digital photo lab, so I don't think you'll be disappointed. And since they are digital, you won't have to worry about damaged negatives or receiving someone else's prints--although I'd wager that the latter may happen at some point. I worked in photo labs most of my life, so trust me on that one.

Give them a try. I did, and I like it!

What's With That Banner?

You like? I made it myself with Ulead GIF Animator. I may not know Flash, but I can make an animated GIF file in my sleep.

At any rate, why did I do this? Simple. My MP3 player took a dump, so now I need a new one. Will this little referral thing work? I dunno. That's why I'm giving it a try.

I signed up via Freepay and am hoping it works. And sure, I'm skeptical. But let's give it a try, huh?

The easiest one to do is the AOL MusicNow offer. Sign up for a 7-day trial, wander around for a bit, then cancel the order. That's all I did. Now whether that will qualify me for the iPod or not remains to be seen. As of this post, I'm still not qualified, but it can take up to 15 days to do so.

So if you consider helping out yer pal Dave here, do one thing: when you sign up for an offer, make sure to use the same email address that you registered with the Freepay site. Otherwise, you may not get credit for the offer. Also, I'd recommend using a "junk email" account for your sign-in and offers. You will get stuff sent to you--a lot of stuff--and I don't want people yellling at me for that. You've been warned!

I'm willing to give it a shot. But I get the feeling that with tax season right around the corner, I will be buying an iPod before I get a free one. But what have we got to lose, right?

So there's my pitch. I won't speak of it again unless I get my free iPod. And if I do, I'll post pictures.