Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day

It's here, it's finally here! Spring is officially here (not that my hay fever hasn't been telling me that for a week), I'm not wasting part of my TV dollars paying for is good.

The Offspring are a little annoyed with me, Opening Day is typically a day off school, but I've been little to disorganized lately and we're they have at least half a day. I may spare them this afternoon.

Aaaand, Toronto at New York is rain-delayed. I said some not-fit-for-print things to my TV because instead of turning in 30 min late for Wang's start, I saw Kansas City at Detroit. I did retract those things when I finally noticed the bottom-of-the-screen scroll telling me that the game was delayed, so they were showing this "bonus coverage."

That mollified me a bit, but still...I don't care if Detroit's a favorite to win it all this year (and they do look good); on Opening Day, I want to see the Bronx Bombers. Rain had better clear soon...

Some interesting facts, via the best Yankee blog on the 'Net:

The Yankees are 61-43-1 on Opening Day, 28-10 at the Stadium. They are 16-11 in presidential election years. When the Yankees win at home on Opening Day, the GOP is 4-1 in the election. When the Yankees lose, the Democrats are 3-0.

Punished with a baby?

"Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old," [Obama] said. "I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby. I don't want them punished with an STD at age 16, so it doesn't make sense to not give them information."
He's going to have to tap-dance a lot on this one, methinks.

Obviously the pro-lifers are going to have a field-day with this one, but I'd like to think that even some of the pro-choice crowd will have a hard time with the idea of a baby as punishment.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thought for the Lord's Day #19

We need the Decalogue not only to apprise us of our lawful obligations, but we also need it to discern how far the Holy Spirit has advanced in His work of sanctification and by how much we still fall short of the goal, lest we become secure and imagine that we have now done all that is required. Thus we must constantly grow in sanctification and always become new creatures in Christ.
- Martin Luther

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wow, I Thought Took Music Seriously

Rockabilly, punk, and metal fans are rioting against emo kids in Mexico? I want to laugh at the ludicrous nature of it*...but these are actual kids getting hurt, encouraged to kill themselves, etc. This kind of thing shouldn't surprise me...but for some reason it does.

Mexico's Emo-Bashing Problem (Time)
Anti-Emo Riots Break Out Across Mexico (Wired)

*I'd even planned on putting a joking headline to this like, "Wow, I didn't know Julie had moved to Mexico"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008 update

Got a new over there on your real commentary to go along with it...unless it's demanded or something...give it a listen whilst you surf.

A History Lesson

not sure how this documentary video from the future got posted on youtube now...but did.

TV Catch-All

Random-ish thoughts on what I've been watching/not-watching lately. Basically, since the beginning of the Writer's Strike, whatever's been on TV has been 'stuff to watch 'til BSG and Burn Notice return (with Chuck close behind).' Now, during that period I did find a few things that are very worth watching, but I also found a few that just weren't. But anyway....

John Rich made the dumbest TV choice since Fox's cancellation of Firefly). Gone Country was marginally entertaining at best--other than for the few moments when they focused on music: singing, performing, song-writing--rather than making their stars/victims look foolish in various ways. But something about the show kept us watching from the get-go--our viewing of the premier was a combination of "there's nothing else on/to-do tonight" and "you've got to be kidding me...they're really trying this?" And then after watching faithfully after that, Rich reveals that this has all been just an elaborate set up, like the 1919 World Series or every WWE match.

I briefly held out hope that my faith in Reality TV could be restored once American Idol finished all their audition phases (with a mercifully changed Hollywood Week--tho I did miss all the fighting that went along with the group sing). Particularly with the (first) all-Lennon/McCartney night. I was filled with dread actually by the prospect, and didn't watch it live so I could use my DVR's 360x playback speed (and/or 'Delete' function) if the show went as badly as I feared. But it was actually a pretty good episode--yeah, there were a couple of disasters--but on the whole, it was probably the best performance episode for the top 12. But I found myself just not caring. I skipped most of the next performance, and didn't watch a bit of last night's--not sure I'll watch the rest of this year. These are supposedly the best finalists in the show's 7 years, but I can't seem to care too much about them. Say what you will about Sanjaya, Scott Savol, or Constantine--they got a reaction. Most of these people--including the ringers--induce yawns. I really like Brooke White, but if she wins, she'll make Taylor Hicks' sales figures look like Carrie Underwood's. Ditto for Lisa EdelsteinJason Castro. I just don't get the appeal of Michael Johns (the downunder Tim Daly)--why do voters/the judges like him? Archuleta's nice, a near-lock to win, and duller than a very used plastic butter knife. What can I say about David "I wanna be Chris Daughtry when I grow up" Cook? Really put off by him...the smugness, they way he does the same thing to every song (mostly ripping off a hard-edged cover of something)...his apparent refusal to use shampoo. A friend of mine (with typically decent taste) recently said something about Cook growing on her--I almost air-mailed her some anti-fungal cream. (I appropriated a couple of jokes here from Ken Levine, who's weekly Idol recaps should be must reading for those who watch the show)

The Return of Jezebel James. Wow. If Amy Sherman was looking for something to remind people that she wasn't always the genius behind Gilmore Girls, that she was also a 'genius' behind Veronica's Closet, she found it. Kind of Fox to kill it before people forgot they like her.

New Amsterdam is, um, a decent way to kill an hour. I dig the premise, I like Omar and John, the cop-stuff is tolerable, the backstory things are interesting. But if I didn't have to stay awake all night, and therefore spend a lot of time watching TV, I doubt I'd stick with it. I can't help but quote Marv Wolfman here.

But I do have a question: how come I didn't get that memo that obviously was sent to everyone in Hollywood that said all new cop series had to feature a light-haired male lead and a beautiful Hispanic partner who doesn't like/get along with the hero until she begrudgingly realizes how good he is. We saw this done in Eureka, Life and now New Amsterdam.
Canterbury's Law is about the as good--an okay way to spend some time. It's reminiscent of early episodes of The Practice, but probably won't last as long. It's far superior to Eli Stone, tho, which I gave up on after four episodes.

About the time that the strike started, I put Season 1 of The Wire on my Netflix queue, and so did many, many other people apparently. Six weeks later I got Disc 1 and 2. The story-telling was skillful, there was real talent behind the scripts, and a good deal of it in front of the cameras, too. But it wasn't until Disk 3 that I cared what happened to any of the characters--I was about to write it off as not my cup of tea at that point--and then I was addicted. Now I have to live with the fact that the series finale just aired? Ahhh, I'm the master of bad timing.

I'm tempted to go on and on about In Treatment here, but think I'll put that off a few days and give it its own post.

Am very glad that CBS has it's comedies back in production--particularly How I Met Your Mother. The St. Patty's episode was a good turning point in the season, and I can't wait to see where they take it from here. The Big Bang Theory is still silly fun.

Speaking of comedies, I'm grateful that TBS puts entire episodes of their original series on their website. My Boys was another mid-strike discovery on my part. It'll never be considered a great sit-com. But it's a good one. And given the state of sit-coms today, good ones are a real rarity.

I lost interest in what kletois called The Summer Glau Chronicles during episode 2, and number 3 didn't help. I've got the rest of the season on the ol' DVR--klet, Julie, I finish it?

I think that about covers it (hope's long enough). Is there anything on the air now that I should watching?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Princess

Well, my little girl is on the downward slide towards double-digits and is careening towards the time where she'll break my heart...sigh.

She's progressing nicely in school, not as well as her brothers were at this point, but moving along steadily. Last week she started her second year of T-ball, and seems to be enjoying it. Frankly, she's probably our best bet at raising a decent athlete, if she can just stop worrying about the state of her clothes and hair long enough to focus on the play.

She's also the most musically inclined arrow in the quiver. We gave her a CD player over the weekend, and it's barely been off since. She's spent hours just sitting in front of it, staring at it like kids do at radios in pictures from the 1940s--taking quick breaks every 90 seconds to let me know what song she's playing/radio station she's tuned into/what CD I need to get her next. I'm pretty sure that's not going to end any time soon.

Happy birthday, sweetie. It's been a fun, giggle-filled six years. Looking forward to as many more as I can get.

(Last birthday post for awhile--phew. Checkbook can't take much more getting sick and tired of cake, too)

Mr. Chesney's youngest critic

(quick throwaway post just to help me remember my blogger password)

Arnold's sitting in my desk chair, listening to some iTunes whilst I puttered this afternoon. He turns to me with his unique "confused face" where he scrunches up half his features in a way that's impossible to describe and probably equally impossible to capture on film and objects, "When the sun goes's dark."

I decide not to explain how that's sorta the point and try to distract him with a Backyardigans track instead.

Who knew he listened that closely?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Thought for the Lord's Day #18

let us beware of under-valuing the Old Testament. There has arisen of late years a most unhappy tendency to slight and despise any religious argument which is drawn from an Old Testament source, and to regard the man who uses it as a dark, benighted, and old-fashioned person. We shall do well to remember that the Old Testament is just as much inspired as the New, and that the religion of both Testaments is in the main, and at the root, one and the same. The Old Testament is the Gospel in the bud; the New Testament is the Gospel in full flower. The Old Testament is the Gospel in the blade: the New Testament is the Gospel in full ear. The Old Testament saints saw many things through a glass darkly: but they looked to the same Christ by faith and were led by the same Spirit as ourselves. Let us, therefore, never listen to those who sneer at Old Testament arguments. Much infidelity begins with an ignorant contempt of the Old Testament.

For another thing, let us beware of despising the law of the Ten Commandments. I grieve to observe how exceedingly loose and unsound the opinions of many men are upon this subject. I have been astonished at the coolness with which even clergymen sometimes speak of them as a part of Judaism, which may be classed with sacrifices and circumcision. I wonder how such men can read them to their congregations every week! For my own part, I believe that the coming of Christ's Gospel did not alter the position of the Ten Commandments one hair's breadth. If anything, it rather exalted and raised their authority. I believe, that in due place and proportion, it is just as important to expound and enforce them, as to preach Christ crucified. By them is the knowledge of sin. By them the Spirit teaches men their need of a Savior. By them the Lord Jesus teaches His people how to walk and please God. I suspect it would be well for the Church if the Ten Commandments were more frequently expounded in the pulpit than they are.
- J. C. Ryle

Saturday, March 22, 2008

For those who were disappointed with the Super Bowl ads

I really think this election cycle is bringing out some of the most creative advertisements I've seen lately. This one is a great example. I am in no way, shape or form a fan/supporter/voter for Obama...but you gotta love this:

hmmm, okay, I've gotten political again. Mentioned Obama...gotta make sure I keep the scales uneven. RON PAUL. RON PAUL. RON PAUL. RON PAUL. May 27, Idaho. Make your voice heard. Don't vote for the lesser of two evils. Vote principle. Vote Paul.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

You know I had to post this...

Even if it is further proof that only The Man should read the lists...

now excuse me while I go scrub the image of #5 out of my mind...where's the lye?

(I almost wrote something new at work...just didn't like it enough to hit trying...)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This just in from the "Wayyyy Too Much Time on Their Hands" Department

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dear

The Love of my Life was born 29+ years ago today, and I am extremely glad she was--taking particular pleasure in 1991 through present.

Mrs. Gibbs was right when she said, "People are meant to go through life two by two." Glad I get to go through it with you, dear.

Happy Birthday.

*Please note the total lack of green on this post. Just the way you like it, Sugar Pie.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thought for the Lord's Day #17

The Sabbath came out of Christ's hands, we see then, not despoiled of any of its authority or robbed of any of its glory, but rather enhanced in both authority and glory. Like the other commandments it was cleansed of all that was local or temporary in the modes in which it had hitherto been commended to God's people in their isolation as a nation, and stood forth in its universal ethical content. Among the changes in its external form which it thus underwent was a change in the day of its observance. No injury was thus done the Sabbath as it was commended to the Jews; rather a new greatness was brought to it. Our Lord, too, following the example of his Father, when he had finished the work which it had been given him to do, rested on the Sabbath—in the peace of his grave. But he had work yet to do, and, when the first day of the new week, which was the first day of a new era, the era of salvation, dawned, he rose from the Sabbath rest of the grave, and made all things new. As C. F. Keil beautifully puts it; "Christ is Lord of the Sabbath, and after the completion of his work, he also rested on the Sabbath. But he rose again on the Sabbath; and through his resurrection, which is the pledge to the world of the fruit of his redeeming work, he made this day the Lord's Day for his Church, to be observed by it till the Captain of its salvation shall return, and having finished the judgment upon all his foes to the very last, shall lead it to the rest of that eternal Sabbath which God prepared for the whole creation through his own resting after the completion of the heaven and the earth." Christ took the Sabbath into the grave with him and brought the Lord's Day out of the grave with him on the resurrection morn.
-B. B. Warfield

In honor of Frodo being clueless about next week being a certain "Holy day"--atta boy!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Creative Recycling

I just know that Micah's going to start planning his version of this (if he hasn't already). I should probably apologize to his wife now.

Some advice...

I love coffee. It is truly odd when I don't have at least a cup in a day. It's unusual if I don't have a pot a day, honestly (thankfully, the days of late Spring Term '06 are a distant memory--there was a month or so that I was doing three pots a day. Yes, three by myself). Coffee's so important to me, I wrote one (and I think only) love poem to it. I've been tempted to write more. TLomL takes her coffee almost as seriously, and we're raising three coffee-holics (Frodo's a hold-out, for some inexplicable reason).*

I don't primarily drink the stuff for the caffeine (tho' I do avoid decaf--it doesn't taste right), but I do certainly appreciate the effects of C8H10N4O2 (as diminished as they are for me). I drink it for the taste first and foremost--then smell, then feel of it, then heat (esp at work, where it's nearly always cold). But it's primarily about the flavor.

Which brings me to my dilemma. I work with two different people during the week. One is in recovery, and drinks/makes what another colleague calls "AA coffee"--which, in a pinch, could probably be used in place of 10W-30. We knock off our first pot in the first 1.5 hrs of our shift, the second takes the rest of the shift because he really slows down so he can sleep after work. The other person I work with maybe drinks a cup every other week--and then she pours in enough milk/creamer that it's maybe 50-40% coffee--she doesn't like the taste. But there's enough in there to almost make her jumpy.

On the nights she needs coffee--she really needs it. The problem arises if she makes it back to the coffee pot first on those nights--typically she doesn't, but twice in the last three weeks she has. As someone who doesn't like Java, she cannot make a decent pot. It just tastes weak, watery and bland. (now I know a certain man who recently relocated from Idaho to South Carolina thinks I drink mine too strong [he's wrong, incidentally], but I know he'd have issues with this stuff). Incidentally, I've become convinced that Emily Post needs to codify the maxim that only those people who drink coffee should be allowed to make it in the workplace. At my last office job, we had a gentleman who rarely drank the stuff, and couldn't make a decent pot. He'd only make it if he was going out of his way to be a help, or as a gesture of gratitude--but he realized his shortcomings and generally just asked someone to do it for him. That I could respect.

I used to suck it up and drink the stuff my partner makes, but I just can't anymore.

The aforementioned last two times she beat me to the pot, I've just gone without for the shift. (just got home from one of those shifts as you can tell from the mildly rambling nature of this and the previous post, just am not that sharp). I don't want to put up with that garbage anymore, but I'm afraid I'm coming across as rude when I don't have any--and I know I'd come across as rude if I dumped hers out after she's had her 13 fluid ounces and made something palatable. What should I do, readers? Other than redoubling my efforts at being the first one to the staff room, that is. I really don't enjoy going an 8-hr shift without drinking anything--nor do I enjoy withdrawal headaches like the I'm almost done with now. She takes criticism (constructive or otherwise) as well as a bratty, catty and semi-talented American Idol finalist, so I really don't think I can say anything, but I'm open to suggestions.

Alright, whine's over. Hopefully back soon with something else.

* worry not, we don't let the other three, particularly, Arnold drink it that often--but they are learning how to appreciate it

Blog, Interrupted

Sorry, kletois, I was trying to get something posted yesterday, really. But I sorta got distracted. About 4 or so, started having this sharp pain in my chest. It wouldn't go away, didn't seem to be made worse or better by anything I did. After a half-hour or so, got annoyed enough I went to WebMd to play with their "Symptom Checker," which was a waste of time. Because they only have one result for chest pain..."seek medical attention immediately."

How's that helpful?

St. Luke's Symptom Checker was no better. "Call 911."

Again, not helpful.

I want to know what might be going on. Want to know how concerned I should be. And I want to reach these conclusions by playing "House: The Home Game." First I try for Lupus, then come up with some sort of infection, finally settling on something more pedestrian--and bring myself to the verge of death at least twice in the process. The level of my sarcastic remarks is directly proportionate to the level of my pain (yes, the more it hurts, the funnier I get--really). But I don't get to play today, Apparently, I'm supposed to be"very" concerned about whatever it might be that's going on--and never mind the details. [sigh] Just no fun at all.

Well, St. Luke's is just about 4 miles away, so I leave work and check into the ER...excuse me, ED, is what they're calling it now (can't imagine who thought that acronym was a good idea...maybe they're getting underwriting from Pfizer). Anyway, they whisk me into a room, slap on the EKG pads and whatnot, got the ol' IV in, and things get rolling. Sort of.

It was typical ER stuff...lotta hustle and then nothing. Eventually, the doctor came in and told me that my EKG was fine but he was worried about maybe a clot in my lungs (not sure why a bad EKG sounded like a better option to me than that) or something else (not sure what the something else was...I'd drifted off for a few minutes before he came in and was still groggy), so they were going to run some more tests before they decided whether they kick me or keep me around.

It's not too long after that before TLomL joins me in the doing nothing (but making me feel so much better). TVLand finished showing the 80's comedies that had been keeping me company. So I switch to the news, where we are told every 45 seconds that the governor of New York hasn't resigned, but they'll let us know when he does--or decides to. Occasionally, they'll mention Obama's primary win, or the latest scandal with the Clinton campaign. It's enough to make me want to walk out (why couldn't I have done this on or after Opening Day [12 days from today--yee-haw!] so I'd at least be able to watch ESPN?), but I don't--just in case the louse does decide to resign. Or was it because TLomL was there and probably would've arranged to have me sedated if I tried?

The doctor finally returns, probably no clot--tho' it can take a few more hours before the enzymes start to show up on a blood test, so no promises. No mention of the other thing, so I still don't know what it was. My choices are: get checked into the Chest Pain Center, which will mean I'm there for at least 10 hours, while they monitor me and hope the pain goes away; or go home and hope the pain goes away. I opt to go home for three main reasons: 1. Saving thousands of dollars; 2. More comfortable for me and the Mrs., 3. There's food at home. (if it was 1 or 3 alone, I'd have decided on home, honestly--put the two of those together and it's a slam-dunk). So 20 minutes and 30 NY Gubernatorial updates later, we're outta there.

The pain does go away--sometime during my 5-hour late morning/afternoon nap. Have been getting the occasional momentary twinge just to remind me that it was around. So what was going on? Beats me, as the doc said when he was discharging me: "Sometimes with chest pains, we just don't know where they come from or if they mean anything." There are times when I think I'd be happier if they slapped on a leech and sent me home.

One of these days, they'd better find something. I can't afford to keep calling wolf. Since Sept. 06 I've been to the ER 4 times on heart-related issues. Each time, I've come home empty handed. Pretty soon, the villagers are gonna stop coming out to protect the flock of sheep.

So that's all just to say why I didn't get around to talking about The Wire, American Idol, and some books I've been reading lately.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Q: Did you hear about the deadly serpent with a lovely singing voice?

A: It was a choral snake.*

*I really have no idea why I felt compelled to post this...but maybe this'll help all of you emailing me for more posts to qualify that request with words like "good," "decent," "quality," "not stupid," etc.**

**I realize if I really focused on those kind of posts, I'd be looking at 368 posts since I started this thing, not 1296+.

First Paragraphs

Subject A:Renowned curator Jacques Saunière staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum's Grand Gallery. He lunged for the nearest painting he could see, a Carravagio. Grabbing the gilded frame, the seventy-three-year-old man heaved the masterpiece toward himself until it tore from the wall and Saunière collapsed backward in a heap beneath the canvas.
Subject B:In the history of the world there have been lots of onces and lots of times, and every time has had a once upon it. most people will tell you that the once upon a time happened in a land far, far away, but it really depends on where you are. The once upon a time may have been just outside your back door. It may have been beneath your very feet. It might not have been in a land at all but deep in the sea's belly or bobbing around on its back.
One of these is the first paragraph of a "Juvenile" novel that will never make the author famous. One of these is from a record-selling novel that received mega-press. One is imaginative, clever; the other seems paint-by-numbers. One is something I wish I could write; the other I could whip off in a few minutes.

In short, one is good. The other, not.

Arnold/Kidney Kid Update

March 5, 2004March 5, 2008
Been a wild 4 years since those first few days of his life...but nowhere near as wild as we expected, thankfully.

Had another checkup last week--on the 4th anniversary of his initial diagnosis. Not exactly the greatest anniversary to note, but make the best of what you do. As the pictures above indicate, things are going much better now than they were then.

Kidney function tested as 41% (really anywhere between 30-45%, but the most recent blood work showed 41). For those keeping score at home, "10% is Transplantville...20% is when we start planning." Or so says our doc...homey little metaphor, isn't it? Worthy of Dan Rather. Oh, for those who've asked--we're still waiting on results from that all day test.

The visit was educational...learned about the hormonal component to toilet training. Don't know why I'm so surprised there is one, there's a hormonal component to everything nowadays*. A fringe problem with the kidney issue is that that hormone doesn't usually kick-in on time with kids like him. Which does explain a thing or two. Now I don't just bring this up so I have something written with which I can embarrass's just that there's all these things that come along with his condition. You think about chronic renal failure and you think about transplants, dialysis, growth problems and all that. You don't think about problems with toilet training, or having to go through physical therapy, or potential delays in intellectual development (very thankfully, nothing we've really noticed). Every now and then, can't help but wonder about what unexpected problem is next.

On the less nephrological side, things are going very well. He's the life of the party--even when we're not having one, maybe particularly when we're not having one. His speech development could use some work--he gives soft-spoken a whole new meaning. He has this toy computer that he plays with all the time--he's teaching himself a lot of spelling, letter and word recognition, etc. He's chomping at the bit to grow up--even while we all try to keep him from doing so. His parents, my folks, his siblings, my sister, my niece--we're all trying to keep him as a toddler, we're not letting go. But man, oh man...he so wants to grow up; to play baseball, to do schoolwork, to be like his brothers. And he's not letting us win.

Blast it all.

* yeah, yeah, I know there's always been hormonal components to things, we just know about them now...

Friday, March 07, 2008

I don't remember drinking a whole bottle of NyQuil this morning

...but I must have. Cuz I could swear that the by-line to this piece is former Sen. George McGovern.

But it can't says things like:

I've come to realize that protecting freedom of choice in our everyday lives is essential to maintaining a healthy civil society.

Why do we think we are helping adult consumers by taking away their options? We don't take away cars because we don't like some people speeding. We allow state lotteries despite knowing some people are betting their grocery money. Everyone is exposed to economic risks of some kind. But we don't operate mindlessly in trying to smooth out every theoretical wrinkle in life.

The nature of freedom of choice is that some people will misuse their responsibility and hurt themselves in the process. We should do our best to educate them, but without diminishing choice for everyone else.
Oh wait...that first paragraph I quoted starts off by saying:
Since leaving office I've written about public policy from a new perspective: outside looking in.
Since leaving office. Well, that makes sense now.

I really liked the piece, I've got notes on my other hard drive for a rant about how our state gov't is trying to protect us from ourselves in similar ways. Yipe. I was getting ready to write something that would echoGeorge McGovern.

Stop the world, I want to get off.

From Our Table to Yours (or your nook, bar, over your sink...whatever)

Happy Cereal Day!

(yeah, it's a real day...commemorating the creation of Dr. Kellog's flakes in 1897)

(and, yeah, having a hard time coming up with things to blog)