Wednesday, December 21, 2005

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - New Jersey, trying to overcome its reputation for corruption, traffic and toxic waste dumps, has rejected dozens of sardonic and sarcastic entries in a contest for a new tourist slogan.

A list of five possible slogans released on Wednesday leaves out "New Jersey: We can always use another relative on the payroll," and "Come to New Jersey: It's not as bad as it smells."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I have finished my Christmas shopping. On time and on budget, I might add. That's the first time in many years that both of those have been true. Usually I spend double what I budget. Half on me and half on others. Now I don't even want anything though, since i have purchased every gadget in the world already, so there's no need for me to get myself anything.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Here's to you Mr. Egg Nog Inventor. The first time I heard it I couldn't stop laughing.

My favorite part is when the guy goes "what the heck is nog?"

And now, for your listening pleasure, a real men of genius tribute to Mr. Egg Nog Inventor

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I would like to congratulate the fine folks at the NFL and CBS for their great jobs this weekend. They decided, in their infinite wisdom, that we would rather see San Francisco play Jacksonville than see San Diego play Indianapolis. Brilliant! I mean come on, really, who wouldn't rather see the 49ers play the Jaguars? I think everyone would pick that game if they had a choice. There's nothing special about a game between an undefeated team and a team fighting for the playoffs. Get real. I want to see a team fighting for the #1 pick in the NFL draft instead. I think, when you look deep in your hearts, that's what you want too.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I saw King Kong today. It was about what I expected. The CGI by itself was excellent and the minature sets were terrific. There were some flaws in the CG when it interacted with the live actors, specifically when Naomi Watts was being flung all over the place by Kong.

On my scale I'd rate it a 5. Would watch if it was on TV or someone else rented it. On a normal scale I'd probably give it a 8 out of 10. The movie was fine, I just don't want to purchase it, which is really what my scale is all about.

I liked Chronicles of Narnia better.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Cavs are so irritating to watch lately.

Here's an example game flow.

Non-Cavs : 10
Cavs : 0

Cavs : 20
Non-Cavs : 14

Non-Cavs : 33
Cavs : 25

Repeat. They were outscored 10-0 by the Nuggest tonight, then they went on a 20-2 run, then they gave up a 12-0 run. They can't string together an entire game.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ding dong, school is over. Today I had my Finance final. On it I wrote "Who cares. This class is over!" and turned it in in 1 minute. The professor stated that it should only take us a minute to do it, so I did it in 1 minute. I got full credit for it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I thought my last day of school was yesterday, but in fact it is tomorrow.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I give The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe a 9. Probable Purchase on my scale. If you liked the book you will certainly like the movie because it doesn't deviate much from the original material. If you've never read the book, then you should go read the book and then watch the movie.

The effects were terrific, and it was completely fine that the movie was toned down in some areas in order the be more kid friendly. The books were written for kids, so the movie should adhere to that. For example, you don't see anyone's head being cut off, even though they allude to it. You don't see anyone's face getting eaten by a lion, even though they infer that.

It clocked in at 2 hours and 10 minutes and I think they actually could have added another 30 minutes in there. I enjoyed it and will probably go see it again in a few weeks.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I'm going to see the Chronicles of Narnia today. I remember liking the books as a kid, so we'll see if that translates into likiing the movie as an adult.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

How to be a Notre Dame fan: don't.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

ING Direct is the best thing since peeing your name in the snow.

The rates go up every two months, unlike Bank One. Bank One (Chase) has savings account rates around .75% now. ING is at 3.75% now. It's pretty sad when a Bank One CD doesn't even compare to a regular ING savings account.

Many kudos to Justin for referring me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Would you rather...

I think that picture is hilarious.

Would you rather have 1 foot long fingernails or 5 feet long nose hairs?

If you were up to your shoulders in a pool of vomit, and a bucket of snot was to be poured on your head, would you duck?

Monday, December 5, 2005

One more week of school and then I'm off for what is sure to be a glorious month.

I've got almost all my Christmas shopping done ahead of schedule and on budget, so it's looking good.

I've got a huge project at work that I'm sole developer on that will be deployed to every plant in our division, but even that is well under control. It's due to come out of testing this Friday and I'll be presenting on it next week.

The car is great in the snow now that the snow tires are on it.

Everything is good. Unless you're a first round draft pick of the Browns, and then your career is over.

Other than that though, it's good.

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Here follows my tale of woe from the plane trip home. Thanksgiving 2005.

We get to the airport around 5:30 PM and I check in. I change my seat from 13 B (in the emergency exit row) to 4 C, the very first non first class row. Keep in mind later that my original seat was 13 B. I get through security at 6:00 PM and my family leaves. There's no going back now. My flight from Charlotte to Cleveland was supposed to depart at 7:00 PM. I walk 20 feet ahead and look at the departures. My flight is now scheduled for 7:40 PM. Doesn't matter. Everyone is gone. By the time I get to my gate, that too has changed. I find my new departing gate just in time to hear an announcement that the plane I'm flying out on is not arriving until 8:00 PM and since it is coming from an international airport (in this case Mexico City) there is a mandatory 30 minute security check of the passengers and plane once it lands. That means I'm not getting out until at least 8:30 PM now.

8:30 finally rolls around and we actually start boarding. It's quite a large plane for a 2 hour flight - they've got us on an Airbus A319. The plane holds 124 people, which is about triple what the normal regional jets I fly on carry. Boarding ends around 8:50 and we taxi out to the jetway. We're 4th in line for takeoff when the pilot comes on and tells us that there is a discrepancy between the number of tickets collected and the actual number of passengers on the plane. He tells us that in his 26 years as a Captain this has never happened before and that we now need to go back to the gate to figure it out. That's comforting. Immediately bad thoughts start going through my head. Did someone sneak on to the plane? Is some terrorist on the plane and they're just telling us this story so we don't panic? Is there a bomb in the luggage compartment? Who knows, but my mind certainly jumps immediately to worst case scenario. After about 20 minutes at the gate they finally get it situated. The people at the gate had counted incorrectly and we really did have a match between the number of passengers and number of tickets collected. So back to the jetway for takeoff.

We're in the air around 9:30 PM. 10 minutes into the flight the Captain tells us he is suspending food and beverage service because of turbulence. He also tells us at this point that the winds in Cleveland are currently above the maximum that our aircraft can withstand, so that's comforting. Wind gusts on the ground are upwards of 75 MPH he says. For most of the flight at cruising altitude (33000 feet) the turbulence is minimal and I think we could have had our peanuts and 3 ounces of liquid. Apparently someone else thought so too. The Captain comes on with an announcement that goes like this: "To the passenger sitting in seat 13 C, I don't appreciate your belligerent attitude toward our flight crew and I have called the authorities. You will be arrested once we land." Great. One thing has gone right. I'm not sitting next to a felon (though I originally was). I don't really understand why the Captain says this only half way through the flight. Wouldn't someone who was going to be arrested get a little anxious and perhaps cause even more problems now? I would think so, but I didn't hear anything else, so I assume he was freaked out enough to behave himself.

As we get closer to Cleveland and start descending the wind really is picking up. The turbulence isn't so bad that I feel like explosively vomiting all over the kids across the isle who are flying for the first time. The very same kids who are proclaiming "My ears hurt. I'm thirsty. I'm hungry. I have to go to the bathroom. That light's too bright. I'm hot. I'm cold. What's this button do? I'm bored. I'm scared. Who farted? Stop touching me. I'm not touching you. I'm not touching you (as finger is 1/2 inch away from the other kids face.)

Anyway, back to the descent. I can see Cleveland to the northwest now. We're going to fly out over the eastern suburbs and then turn west to fly over the city in our southwest approach. It seems like we've been descending forever. 10 minutes out from touchdown the winds are quite bad, though now thankfully within the tolerances of our airplane. Recall that this is a big plane and we are swaying at 45 degree angles because of the wind. I've lost track of downtown at this point and am wondering why we're not closer. Just then, we are rocketing skyward. We're going up as steeply as I believe our plane can climb and at full throttle too. That's generally not a good sign when you're supposed to be landing. We climb for what seems like forever, but is actually about 30 of the longest seconds in my life. Are we going to crash into a building? Are we going to hit another plane? Why did we just do an emergency climb? Nothing from the cockpit. Nothing from anyone as a matter of fact. The wind is really playing havoc with us now. At this point I am feeling sick, and very anxious about the landing. We're not leveling out. Everyone has turned off their lights now and the people next to me are holding hands. I can imagine people in the back of the plane doing the sign of the cross. We resume our descent and are probably 2000 feet off the ground. The plane is still rocking back and forth. We're coming in faster than normal too. I believe that's so that the Captain can have maximum control, but if something goes wrong... well, then we're just a faster fireball.

500 feet now. We're just above a highway that runs in front the run way. There are a lot of power lines there and our wings are still not staying level. It feels like the back of the plane is power sliding to the right and left. 100 feet. Still not level. Coming in very fast. Then the right landing gear touches down and the left side of the plane slams down. The nose isn't even down yet and the engines are in full reverse. The nose comes down hard and bounces a little bit, but we're home. We've made it. People burst into spontaneous applause. It's only the second time that has happened on one of my flights, and the other time was when we got hit by lightning, had to go into a holding pattern in the middle of a thunderstorm and had to divert to another airport because we were low on fuel. People, including me, let out a collective sigh of relief. I don't care that I'm 2 1/2 hours late. I'm alive. Things will be different. This will be the Summer of George. The Summer of George! (Seinfeld reference in case you don't know.) I feel like Ralphie in A Christmas Story after his Mom doesn’t tell his Dad that he broke his glasses and nearly shot his eye out. Mmmm. This meatloaf is great! We taxi for about 5 minutes to get to our gate, and then we're not allowed to get off. The Captain gets off first and doesn't come back for a few minutes. Once he comes back we're allowed to leave. Since I'm in the front of the plane, I'm one of the first off. At the exit of our plane are 5 police officers. Someone not going to be happy. I didn't stick around to see what happened, but it was on the news the next day apparently. I get my luggage and notice the time. It's 10:54. I get home around 11:35 and don't fall asleep until 1:00 AM. On the car ride home I'm still feeling a little queasy from the flight, but I'll take it.

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Been having Internet access troubles for most of the last week, which is why nothing has been posted.

The Big 12 sucks, but Texas is good. UCLA sucks, but USC is very good. Virginia Tech is consistently the most over rated team in the country, and I hate Notre Dame.