Saturday, October 31, 2009

I'm Crazy __________, Gimme Some CANDY!

We're back from plundering our subdivision...and plunder we did. Our estimate is 6 gallons. And dentists all over the Treasure Valley are punching the air...

Enough of that, on to the pictures...(most of which were taken by my mother, who's a better shot than I am)

My daughter's feminist commentary on marriage. At first, she was just going to make a cute bride (no, not the Uma kind, alas). But then she and her mom got talking...blood, gore, monster masks were considered, but in the end, they went with this. We really should've got some black roses to go with it, dontcha think?
TLomL's getting pretty good at this skeleton-face makeup...maybe the Insane Clown Posse could hire her.
Took us about 14 seconds of shopping before Arnold found this. If only they were all so easy.
The number of kids we passed shouting "Mario!" last night (most of the older boys doing a spot-on impression), I'm surprised our subdivision wasn't invaded by Nintendo copyright lawyers.
Samwise had come up with this idea of a Grim Reaper with glowing eyes before we went shopping for costumes, and had settled on something else after not finding the pieces he wanted to assemble it. Naturally, as soon as we purchased something else, he stumbled on to it in a pre-assembled kit. And then when we found that scythe? Such joy. It's like I'm raising 'Chainsaw' Gremp.

Oh, don't call him a Jawa Reaper, he doesn't like it. Even if that's what this totally looks like.
The eyes on that fade in and out...making the whole picture taking experience so much fun.
Frodo's costume's label called this a Gatekeeper, but he looks nothing like Sigourney Weaver if you ask me (even without the mask). So I asked myself, what would Giles or Wesley call this, and decided he needed to call himself a K'col'Yek monster.
No, that isn't the Eye of Thundara in the hilt there

(I checked)
I've mentioned before how difficult it is to get a picture of WonderMutt. This is the best I could do thanks to some creative cropping.
My wife, ladies and gentlemen...

(it'll help to read that in Peter Bishop's sardonic drawl)
Our Haul. 14 lbs. 14 oz. (and they probably ate a bit more than 2 oz. before it was weighed it.) This is truly embarrassing...when I was a kid, my mom'd have made us quit if we came close to filling up one of these containers. And this is just from strolling around the real effort.

Me? Oh, I went as an Adam Sandler song.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Too Much to Say

no real post today, just some blather about my process...not that anyone cares.

I have seven or so posts in the draft stage, and I can't decide which one to finish--every time I pick one to work on, all I can think of is the others. So I move on to one of them, and the cycle starts again.

On the other hand, I'm biting my tongue and not publishing a bombastic rant about media coverage, apparently deliberate attempts to misunderstand what others are saying, and other sorts of biases hurting a start-up group I care deeply about. The plan is to tone it down, make it less bombastic, and try to sound sane. Not fun, but probably more productive. But I'm not in the place to do that now.

or I could blather on about NaNoWriMo, but I have all of November to do that, why start early?

To make up for wasting your time, I'll just say that while The Swell Season's Strict Joy album appears achingly beautiful, the best album I've bought in months has to be Phineas and Ferb (Songs from the TV Series). That probably says a lot about me.

Oh, found a new webcomic last night (thanks to Jon Rogers) and spent a fun hour or two plundering the archives of 2009...a couple of must-reads are:, Rebuffed, and The Glee Agenda (which could so totally be about me).


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Arnold Kidney Update

Had our regular checkup with Arnold's nephrologist today, on the whole, things are very positive, and look good for now. He's recovered from his recent hospitalization, and bout of Swine Flu well. Everything's about where it should be.

I did learn a couple of things, both about the future and about kidney treatments in general. First of all, the doc reported that his hemoglobin was good. Am pretty sure this is the first time he's bothered to mention that--maybe he's muttered something mostly to himself about it a time or two. He went on to inform me that when his kidney function worsens (about 25% efficiency or so), he'll need a weekly injection to boost that. I'm getting it on the record now that I hereby volunteer TLoML to give that, assuming it's not something a professional has to administer.

His growth rate is slowing, and assuming it continues the way it is, within a year or two we're going to have to talk about growth hormone. Apparently, and this was news to me, it's not that kidney patients don't produce the normal amount of growth hormones themselves. Rather, there's something also produces that blocks the hormone. So, (assuming he gets the hormone) he'll be given a dose equivalent to that given to someone who doesn't produce the hormone on his own, which will be enough to overcome the block. This will come in the form of daily injections. Please see the previous paragraph for my stance on the administration thereof.

His kidney function had been thrown off by the infections/dehydration that were behind his recent hospitalization, but the lab results show that they're back to where they were before. In the past, the doc's been able to do a quick and dirty calculation to estimate kidney function based on those results. But thanks to that pediatric study we've talked about before (here and here, for example), that calculation has been thrown out. The doc was sorta grumbling about that (a diagnostic tool he's used his entire career has been tossed) and sorta informing me about the use of that study. Apparently, they've been able to adapt the calculation to come up with a way to estimate function for girls, but they're still working on it for boys, so his usual rough guess is rougher than normal. We're at 35%-ish. He didn't tell me what the range on that is, but in the past it's been +/- 15%.

The last thing I wanted to mention has nothing to do with Arnold's condition, but when we talked about the hospital stay, I mentioned that the insurance company was hassling us about paying for it. He was incredulous about that and volunteered to help with the appeal. Then he said something about at least when dealing with an insurance company there's a person you can talk to and "if it gets to the point it's the government deciding these things, it'll be a wall." I see him briefly catch himself before finishing his thought after saying the word "government", but then he must've decided he didn't care about opening a potential can of worms and spoke his mind. I know there are exceptions, but I've yet to find a medical professional in favor of the legislation before Congress.

Syfy Plans International Vandalism

Note to the Reader: I do have non-TV/non-Entertainment posts in the works, but sadly, I can't seem to get them to the publish point. Really don't just want to harp on TV stuff...but, c'est la vie, it'll have to do for now.

The Powers That Be over at Syfy are still carrying a grudge over that whole era characterized by The Stamp Act, Taxation Without Representation, Lexington/Concord, etc. (only explanation I can think of, anyway) and have decided to wreak havoc in the fashion of the Boston Tea Pary, but with a Urban Fantasy twist. According to SciFiWire:

The BBC's clever 20-something show Being Human, about a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost who end up as roommates, is the latest British series to get an Americanized version. Syfy has ordered 13 episodes of the new series, which it plans to launch in the summer or fall or 2010 as a companion to its show Sanctuary (which also features a vampire and a werewolf).

Being Human debuted on the digital network BBC Three with six episodes and was popular enough that it got moved up to the larger BBC One. A second season of eight episodes is planned for early next year in Britain, and the show also airs in the U.S. on BBC America.

"It turned out great, as we can now do an American version," Syfy president Dave Howe told The Hollywood Reporter. "We've always been keen on vampires and werewolves, and we loved the originality of Being Human, the fact that the fantastical creatures in it are very young, accessible and charming."

Howe said the Syfy version will not just "slavishly replicate the British version."

"We loved the originality..." so, we decided to rip it off...well, that's Hollywood for ya, guess I can't knock that. But then to go on to say they're not just going to "slavishly replicate"? Dude. The only prayer this thing has of being decent is to slavishly replicate...

Syfy would do the show, Syfy's audience, and company's budget a huge favor and take all the money they're planning on spending on the remake and just buy the rights to air the original. A truly great show, with a nigh unto perfect cast. Anything else is just criminal.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

USA's 'White Collar'

I'll be honest with you (unlike most posts where I lie like crazy), the promos that USA's been running for what seems like a year and a half for their new show White Collar have left me mostly cold. Oh wow, an odd couple-ish pairing of a by-the-book law enforcement officer with some outside of law enforcement, who plays by his own rules and is the key to solving crimes...where have we seen that one 7,000 times lately? And while I was surprised that Tim DeKay was getting a chance to be the lead on a series, Matthew Bomer's casting left me cold--most of the Bryce Larkin storylines on Chuck were my least favorite.

But I gave it a shot anyway, because hey, it's USA, and that means it's probably going to be better than most of what's on TV anyway.

So glad I gave it a chance. I actually liked Bomer's character, and thought he did a pretty good job in the role. DeKay demonstrated his typical solid acting chops. The rest of the cast and characters were somewhere between decent and good (Willie Garson and Mark Sheppard in particular). The story wasn't the most intricate plot, but it was well-told--which is far more important anyway. Oh yeah, it was fun, too. Not to full of itself, it's escapist fiction and knows it.

There were two things that really sold me on the pilot--1. Bomer's Neal Caffery was cocky to the point of arrogant, brilliant, irreverent, etc.--all the things that the 90% of the consultants that do the actual crimefighting while the TV cops watch are (see Shawn Spencer, Richard Castle, Patrick Jane, etc.), but without being a cartoon like the rest are always in danger of becoming. Gerald So used the word "vulnerability," and I wished I'd come up with that on my own. 2. DeKay's Peter Burke was a competent--make that excellent--agent. He's no bumbler inexplicably in a ranking position, like so many are (see Lt. Disher, Det. Lassiter, Agent Lisbon the California Bureau of Investigation); he could stand on his own, but sees the opportunity to do a little better by using this particular tool. A fairly fully drawn character, to boot. The dynamic--one of mutual respect--should prove to be a fun one to watch.

Now just because the pilot wowed me, doesn't mean it's a lock. USA's In Plain Sight had a great pilot and hasn't come close to being as good since. But I've read that Natalie Morales stars in episode 2, and any show that casts The Middleman's Dubby for at least one episode, demonstrates a level of taste and discernment that speaks well of the series as a whole.

Friday, October 16, 2009


My alma mater inaugurated a new president today, which I guess is a good thing. I'll be honest, I've never paid that much attention to the succession of presidents since I left (or before I showed up).

Part of the ceremony was the reading of a poem by Robert Wrigley, a professor in the English department, titled "IDAHO." Here's the text, via an alumni newsletter email from the new president. Interesting piece.

"What's in a name?" Juliet Capulet asked of the night sky.
She was puzzlingly, mysteriously, and beautifully in love
with Romeo, a Montague, and their names made it all go awry.
She could have been asking the stars, or the deep dark above,

the same source Mr. George M. Willing might have inquired of,
in 1861, when he coined the word "Idaho," and claimed it Shoshone.
It wasn't. It meant neither "light from the mountains" nor "gem" of
the same. He made it up. It was, lexicologically, baloney.

And yet, here we have, whatever was meant by it then, Idaho:
a name conjured out of nothing, which even now seems,
some days, sometimes, hard to understand: but from the St. Joe
to the Owyhee, over all its thousands of mountains and streams,

what the word is, is a poem---puzzling, beautiful, mysterious---
that means, as we who live here know, exactly and only what it is.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Constructive Graffiti

Musician, performer, parodist, language warrior--is there anyone more deserving of the title "hero"?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just Curious...

How many juries out there would convict me of vandalism/destruction of private property if I broke all the exterior green and red lights that the house across from where I work started using last night?

Would I get a straight "Not Guilty" or would I have to get my lawyer to go for some sort of jury nullification?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

whoo-hoo! I'm a statistic!

Just got back from the doctor's a little while ago, turns out I have swine flu. They decided to treat me aggressively because 1. he's afraid of me developing bronchitis/pneumonia and the quicker this goes away, the less likely that is; and B. they don't want Arnold getting this--so again, the quicker this goes away...

Trick is, my pharmacy is out of the stuff they need (apparently there's been a run on this stuff, maybe a lot of people are sick or something, I should check the news...), but they called around and found a few doses at a competitor in town. Otherwise, I'd have had to wait 'til Saturday at the earliest.

Major kudos to the clerk at Walgreens for going well beyond the call for me.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Season That Wouldn't End

Didn't see the whole thing, but I did catch the last 3 4 few innings of Game 163 between the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins. Not the prettiest game I've ever seen,, those guys were giving it everything they had. So many opportunities for each team to put it away, or to throw in the towel, and they just kept on fighting.

Baseball in October...what's better?

Big Tip of the e-Cap to the Tigers, and a hearty congrats to the Twins (and their fans, like my good buddy Clyde).

Now it's time for a weary team to get on a plain to the Bronx to get smoked by Sabathia.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Entering our Adolescence

so far, it's:

  • 4,748 days
  • 8 residences
  • 4 children
  • 1 dog
  • 9 employers
  • 4 minivans
  • 2 cars
  • 6,608 slices of pizza (low-ball estimate)
  • 2 trips to Disneyland
  • 3 TVs
  • 3 presidents
  • 4 World Championships won by the Yankees
  • 2 World Championships won by the Red Sox
down. Who knows how many to go? Lord willing, many, many more (well, on some of them...not sure more of some of those would be tooo good)

Happy Anniversary, dear. I Love You.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Thought for the Lord's Day - #46

The true knowledge of Christ consists in receiving him as he is offered by the Father, namely, as invested with his Gospel. For, as he is appointed as the end of our faith, so we cannot directly tend towards him except under the guidance of the Gospel. Therein are certainly unfolded to us treasures of grace. Did these continue shut, Christ would profit us little. Hence Paul makes faith the inseparable attendant of doctrine in these words, “Ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus,”
- John Calvin
Institutes of the Christian Religion 3.2.6

Saturday, October 03, 2009

All Sorts of Wrong

When Harry Knowles posted the trailer for this movie over at Ain't It Cool News (which I'm compelled to scour 2-3x a week), he posed the question "Worst Movie Ever?", which I think is just unfair to X3: X-Men United; Repo! The Genetic Opera, Johnny Mnemonic, and Forrest Gump (this is by no means an exhaustive list, just the worst cinematic crimes I that come to mind without effort).

That said, this just looks dreadful! I have to wonder just what type of manipulation the casting agents/producers used to get this cast to sign--blackmail, torture (think that one scene in Marathon Man, pharmaceutical inducement (for entertainment or compulsion)). Sure, the Rock will apparently do any movie you ask. But surely Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews and Billy Crystal have better taste! Crystal hasn't made a live action movie since the regrettable Analyze That in 2002. I don't know why he chose this pile of fetid dingo's kidneys to make his return.

Watch it--this is the equivalent of the burning car wreck on the median strip you just have to rubberneck. Besides, there's no reason I should suffer alone.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Ted Williams' Head

(which would make a decent name for a college rock band, incidentally)

I was just appalled by this when I heard Colin Cowherd and Jim Rome talking about it this morning. I assume by now you've heard this horrible story, but if not:

Workers at a cryonics facility mutilated the frozen head of Hall of Fame baseball player Ted Williams, the author of a new book alleges.

In "Frozen," Larry Johnson, a former executive at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., describes how Williams' frozen head was repeatedly abused, the New York Daily News reported.

The book due out Tuesday alleges gruesome behavior at the facility, where bodies are kept suspended in liquid nitrogen in case future generations learn how to revive them.

Johnson writes that in July 2002, shortly after the legendary slugger died at age 83, technicians with no medical certification used crude equipment to decapitate the majors' last .400 hitter. Williams' severed head was then frozen, and even used for batting practice by a technician trying to dislodge it from a tuna fish can, according to the book.
(via FoxSports)

The Boston Herald's website, naturally, gives a few more details:
Red Sox great Ted Williams’ head was treated like a "grotesque pinata" by a pair of Arizona cryonic lab workers who bashed the legendary slugger’s frozen skull with a wrench to dislodge it from its pedestal: a Bumble Bee tuna can, an explosive new book alleges.

"Little gray chunks of Ted’s head flew off, peppering the walls, skittering across the floor and sliding under the machinery,"

Pretty sure the adjective "grotesque" is just overkill there, "pinata" says it all. Taking batting practice with this legend's (or anyone's) head using a monkey wrench? Disgusting. Rome called it "appalling and despicable," he was probably a bit too restrained there.

I'm not one of those Christians who've drunk too deeply from Plato and think of our bodies as mere containers (or even prisons) for our souls--but I don't consider the physical aspect of humanity as sacred either. I do embrace the biblical teaching that we are made body and soul--and the union between them doesn't end at death (this would be one of the cool things about resurrection, the reuniting of that which belongs together). Mistreatment of a corpse (or part thereof) is as heinous as mistreatment of a living body.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Quick Question

What's the point of having a Shibboleth if you're going to tell everyone how to pronounce it???