Friday, February 29, 2008

Someone get the license number

I think a truck hit me in the middle of the night. I may have been in shock this morning so I didn't know the extent of the damage. I do now. I ache, my nose is like a faucet, and my eyes keep watering. I've never gotten sick this fast before. I was fine last night when I was at work. I should expect this though, the whole office is sick. With the way the office is set up we should just spit on each other all day. It wouldn't be any different. I'm going to start wearing a Hazmat suit to work. It's the only way to stay healthy.

Karen has a good weekend assignment. I'll get to it later. I can't type anymore.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Food stuff

I had to stop at the store after work last night to get snacks from my son's class. It was after 11pm so of course I had to buy some snacks for me too. For some reason I wanted cookies. Probably because I was surrounded by them. I scanned the shelves looking for something good. Oreos? No, too bad for you. Milanos? No, too pricey? Fudge Stripe? No, not into them tonight? How about some Chips Ahoy? Sounds good.

You know what? They aren't as good as I remember. Did they change the recipe? I wonder if the healthy food people got after them. You know, ever since Dr. Oz went on Oprah talking about bad fats everyone is changing their recipes. Do you know what makes cookies taste good? Fat. Yep. The fattier the better. Lard would be the best. You know those awesome cookies grandma use to make? They were loaded with fat; that's why they tasted so good. Of course, that is why people died at the ripe old age of 50, but you take the good with the bad.

I like President's Choice chocolate chip cookies the best. They are only sold at (the) Jewel around here. They are a generic brand I guess. I'm not sure why I like them so much. I think it's the chips. The chocolate chunk version is the best one. Maybe I should stop there on the way home? Do we need anything?

I had a smoked ham and swiss sandwich on a croissant and a (very) small ceasar salad from the cafeteria at work. It's one of those meals that sounds a lot healthier than it is. I used to work in a restaurant where our worst meal we had was a salad. People would order it thinking they are eating well, and I'd have to hide a smirk. The steak dinner with potato had less calories and fat. I'd much rather have that. Oh, the ceasar salad I had was soaked in dressing. I like it better when I can put it on myself. I usually use about half of what they give me. A little ceasar dressing goes a long way.

That was an exciting post, wasn't it? Tomorrow I will talk about what kind of toothpaste I use.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sugar and spice

Did you know that salt does not cancel out pepper? Of course you do, but I didn't know that as a kid. I remember being at my step-dad's store and having scrabbled eggs from the microwave. I thought it was so cool making them in the microwave, remember this was in the late 70's early 80's, it probably took longer than making them on the stove. Anyway, I was by myself and I put some salt on the eggs. It came out much faster than I expected. So, I put extra pepper on them. But it was to pepper-y, so I put more salt on them, I think you can see where this is going. I think I would have died from the amount of salt on the eggs if I tried to eat them. I didn't want to waste them though, so I just sat there for a few minutes looking at them deciding what to do. Luckily, someone (I can't remember who now) came along and told me to toss them. Why am I writing this? I don't know. I think the last thing I wrote was too serious, so I'm trying to lighten the mood.

Let's see, what else do I do that was stupid...

I used to get mad at my brother for pointing at me. Almost every night we would have a snack before bed, sometimes it was cereal, sometimes ice cream, never anything healthy. Come on, it was the 70's, sugar was good for you then! We had assigned seats at the table, my brother sat at the end of the table because he was left-handed, I sat on his right. It was the perfect set-up for him. He could eat with his left hand, and rest his right hand on the table and point at me. That's all he would do, but it would drive me crazy. I would try to ignore him, that's what my mom would tell me to do when I complained, but it never worked. He'd just start wiggling it around until I couldn't take it anymore. I would yell at him, loud enough for my mom to hear of course, he'd get yelled at, I'd be told to ignore him, then I'd go back to reading the back of the Cocoa Pebbles box. All was good, until the next night. He only did it during the night time snack; no witnesses then. He was no dummy.

That's not scary enough

Have you heard about the guy who was killed by a shark while SCUBA diving? Let me be more clear. This wasn't a random shark attack, this guy was out with a diving company that baits sharks to get them to come close. Here is the article. Obviously it is sad this man died, I feel bad for his family. I hope this man misunderstood what was going to happen. Maybe he thought that just some little shark species were in the area that they could see; something that wouldn't attack a human.

This quote from the article is very interesting:

To ensure "the best results we will be 'chumming' the water with fish and fish parts," the Web site explains. "Consequently, there will be food in the water at the same time as the divers. Please be aware that these are not 'cage' dives, they are open water experiences."

When did it become uncool to be in a cage to see sharks? I've seen Shark Week, standing in that cage with sharks circling seems terrifying to me. Take a look at this picture from the company's website. Does that look like something people should be doing? Especially if they are not a marine biologists? I know, most of the time the sharks will stay away, it says so on the website, but putting chum in the water to rile them up does not seem like a good idea. I have a feeling the company may be changing their practices. They will probably be sued by the family as well.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"It's not a tumah"

Thank you Arnold for that great quote. I use it all the time. I probably should thank the writer of Kindergarten Cop, but without Arnold's accent and delivery it would just be another line.

I have a headache today. I've had it all day. It's one of those headaches that float around your head. Sometimes it is on the top of my head, then goes to the front, then to the back, then behind my eyeball. It's fun! It's my own fault; I decided to stop drinking soda today. (You can call it pop, soda pop, Coke, sody, whatever is normal in your neck of the woods). I've been reading up on caffeine withdrawal, just to be sure it isn't something else. When John's Hopkins has something about it, you know it is for real.

I don't drink a lot of pop, but it seems no matter how much you take in your body gets used to it and won't stop asking for more. Right now my body is saying, "Hey! You! You think you can cut off our supply? I'll make you wish you were dead."

OK, it's not that bad, but I can't imagine trying to give it up if I drank 7 cups of coffee a day. Can you go to Promises to get off the stuff? "Uh, yeah hi, I need to check in for caffeine addiction. Can you make sure I'm not anywhere near Britney? Thanks!"

So my wife hijacked the blog earlier today. I wasn't going to say anything about my birthday. It seemed weird. Now, what should I do to her blog on her birthday? I have until October to think of something good.

Guest Blogger: Happy Birthday!

This is Mrs. Everything Under the Sun. I've taken over Mike's blog to let EverythingUndertheSun readers know that it is his birthday. You may call it breaking in or an invasion of privacy, I call it guest blogging. I am curious to see what Mike calls it.

Anyway, this is Mike's last year in the 30s so please help me send him good wishes and come out of lurking (I know you're out there) to wish him a happy birthday, he deserves it!

Happy Birthday Mike!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Open up and say ouch!

I know you are all curious how my dentist appointment went. By "you" I mean my sister. It was OK, actually. I was really nervous. As I said, it was a long time since my last cleaning and check up. I'm not fond of having my teeth scraped, or getting in trouble for not flossing, so I have avoided going for a while. Turns out they have some new tools that are not quite as annoying. Who designed those tiny pickaxes that they use anyway? I don't think I want to meet that person. The new ultrasound cleaner the hygienist used was much quieter and didn't cause shivers up my spine as she worked on my teeth. I have to go back for a follow up and have an old filling fixed, but overall the hygienist and dentist were happy. As was I. I'm one of those people that always expects the worst; I was lucky this time.

It's snowing again. I think the schools may be closed tomorrow again as well. This is getting old.

Giant Robot, Launch!

Did you know that you can purchase Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot on iTunes? Yes, you can! I remember watching the show on channel 44 when I was a kid. I believe it was on right before or after the reruns of Speed Racer. I didn't remember the robot having a head like the Sphinx. I just showed my wife, she doesn't remember the show.

I can't watch it now since I have to go to the dentist. I really don't like going to the dentist. I really, really don't like to go. It's like nails on a chalkboard when those tools scrape my teeth. And why does the dentist have to be so mean all the time? I haven't gone in a long time so he's going to be extra mean. Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Weekend Assignment #204: My Favorite Year

Karen's Assignment this week asks the following:

Is there a year in your life to date that you remember with special fondness? When was it, and what made it so special?

Hmm. I read this on Friday and I've been thinking about it all weekend. It is not easy to answer, as Karen has found out for herself.

I could go with the year my wife and I got married. Since the wedding was in October, we had 10 months of stress followed by two months of relaxation. That's not quite enough to cover the whole year.

I have the year that each child was born. But, how do I pick one? That's like choosing a favorite child; it never works out well. I don't want the kids reading this in a few years and getting mad at me. I'll have enough trouble without the help of this post.

So, I'm going to go with 2000. I finished my return trip to school about 18 months before, we both had good paying jobs, and we went to Maui. The trip itself made the year. It was relaxing, the weather was great, and we didn't want to come home. If you have never been to Hawaii, you need to go. Now. It truly is a paradise. Have a Mai Tai on me, or better yet, a lava flow. Great, now I want to go back. This winter is killing me.

Extra credit: Are you likely to have an even better year in the future, or is that year simply unbeatable?

It will be tough, but I'm sure I'll have a better year. The kids are young, I have their school careers and weddings to look forward to. Of course that means a lot of money to pay as well.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Dewey needs you

The Dewey Donation System book Drive for 2008 is going on now. It's a good way to help make sure kids get books they need in the libraries. There are bonuses, too. John Scalzi is giving away a very limited novella to two lucky people if you donate. How cool is that? Pamie started it all in 2003; if anyone should be coaxing you into donating it should be her. She makes some good points. I don't know her, but from what I've read on her site, she doesn't take 'no' for an answer. But, she does that in a nice way...

Then, after you do that, head over to my wife's site. Shes' running the Chicago marathon this year and is raising money for the American Cancer Society.

Kids and cancer research, you can't say no to either of those...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Totale Eclipse of the Moon

Sing it! I know you know the song I am referencing. It is OK to admit it. Put on your best raspy voice and let it go!

I didn't get out to watch the lunar eclipse last night. It was way too cold and by the time I was able to leave my daughter's room the moon was already coming out of the shadow of the Earth. I tried snapping a couple of pictures from my kitchen window but they did not turn out well at all. Turns out it is pretty difficult to take a picture through a window, without a tripod mind you, when the shutter is staying open for a few seconds. I have a few nice pictures of what could be the moon or a shiny penny. Hard to tell for sure. I'll try again in 2010. I know you can't wait...

Just in case you are still pretending you don't know what I am talking about... here you go.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Can you hear me?

I'm down here. In the pothole you just drove by. Yes, I know there are a lot around here, but you just passed me. I've tried honking my horn, but nobody can hear it. I'm getting cold. Can you send some help? I think I've found Hoffa down here. Though, that could be the remains of another pothole victim. Please hurry, I think there is a bear hibernating in here. I want to be gone before he wakes up. Thanks for your help.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ford Motor Car Theater Presents: Knight Rider

So, I watched it. I think most men from 30 years old and up felt like they had to check it out. Am I right? Anybody? When I was about 13, Knight Rider was awesome. I remember being very excited before the show aired. It just looked cool, a jet black Trans AM, that could drive itself, and talk. How could it be anything but great. Sometimes when I was playing with my friend I would pretend I was talking to KITT into my Casio digital watch. No, I wasn't a geek. Why do you ask?

Anyway, on to the new one. The show starts with some older guy dying by the hands of some generic bad guys. They didn't mean to kill him actually, they needed information from him, but he had a grabber and died. Bummer fro them. Now they had to go through the house and steal all the computers to get whatever information they needed. That's when they run across a car in the garage. Now it was in the garage, and I believe partially covered, but when it takes off they assume someone is in it, maybe that person slept in it. Don't get me wrong, the average person would not believea car could drive itself. The thing is, these guys knew the guy they were after worked on autonomous vehicles, that was the information they were after. Not much of a stretch to have a car that might be a prototype for such things. But I am nitpicking.

About the bad guys. They were quite a PC group. You had one guy who was from some European country, the accent was such that you couldn't be sure which. He had that familiar look, like he might have been a bad guy from another movie you have seen. But, he's not. One was an African American, one was Asian, and one was American. They covered the bases well.

So, after the car drives off and the guy is dead what comes next? Half naked women. Why not? You have the two in bed with Mike (we'll meet him later) and then a long take of a woman coming out of the ocean and rinsing off her bikini-clad body. Then we see her getting dressed and another girl, naked of course, in the bed wondering where she is going. She tells the girl in bed to lock up after she leaves, puts on her badge and loads her weapon and is off the FBI office. Why we need to see that portion of her life i don't know, but hey, anything to show some skin!

Next we meet the daughter, she's teaching a class about self-replicating nanotechnology and is asked about her estranged father from a student. You know, that happens all the time in class. I remember that happening all the time in my classes in college. Maybe I'm being too hard, I never took graduate level courses, it probably happens all the time.
KITT, which now stands for Knight Industries Three Thousand, finds her at school and saves her from the same men that broke into her her father's place.

After spinning through the campus they get out on the highway, then we spend much of this trip admiring the car. There are many, many sweeping passes of the car. Still shots of the Cobra on the side. Nice angled shots showing lines of the muscular car. I don't think I am exaggerating when I say a good 10 minutes of the movie were spent showing the car from different angles. I may be low on my estimate. Oh, and in the whole two hours I think I saw three car that was not part of the Ford Motor Group, and one of them was totaled.

So, it turns out the KITT is taking Sarah, the daughter, to Mike Traceur, to help. That is what her dad programmed the car to do. She's not happy because they used to be in love in college and her blew her off. Dads can be so inconsiderate. Somewhere along the road trip KITT notices she is sad and gets her to open up about her feelings. A car and a therapist, what a bonus.

By the way, the voice of KITT is supplied by Val Kilmer (you don't need a link, right? ). I'm pretty sure he did the voice work from his bed. He just sounds so sleepy. Or is it bored?

So Sarah and Mike meet up in Las Vegas, where he is trying to win money to pay of a $90,00 dollar debt, because that is the best way to get money fast to pay off some guys with guns. That sub-plot is so weak that it really doesn't matter. Of course, the bad guys after Sarah are in the Casino, but with the help of KITT, they get away. Not before Mike gets into an argument with KITT.

Again we are out on deserted roads at night, with no lights on. At one point they stop because Mike needs to pee. You don't see that enough on TV. While he is standing in front of the bushes Sarah decides to confront him on why he blew her off all those years ago. Here's a tip women, let the man pee in the bushes in peace, he's more apt to talk when he's not hanging out in nature, if you catch my drift. At a gas stop, KITT tries to get Mike to open up about why he blew her off. Come on, give the guy a break. Now the car is harping on him? Jeez.

Guess what? Sarah's dad didn't really die. It was his body double. The FBI lady knew that, turns out they were friends. That's why we got to see her in a bikini. At least that's the only reason I can see. Oh, and it turns out the Sheriff from the town is in with the bad guys and she leads them to Sarah's dad. Let's call him Charles, that was his name after all.

Charles calls KITT to talk to Sarah and let's her know where he is, he's with Mike's mom. For some reason Mike hates her, but we never really know why. All we know is he was a bad kid and was sent off to school and he's pissed about it. Is he still 12? They race off to the hotel, more splendid shots of the Mustang on the way, but they are a little late. The bad guys are there already. Charles is no dummy, he checks into four rooms, but doesn't say exactly which room he's going to be in. So the bad guys, remember there are four, check out three of the rooms at once. Guess which one Charles is in? Yep, the fourth. KITT is not easily fooled and leads Mike to the right room, where Mike's mom shoots at him.  Oops. The gunshot leads the bad guys to where they are and they all get caught right in front of KITT. Mike's mom, being the hard-ass she must be, I'm guessing since we've seen her for 5 minutes, pulls out a gun she's hiding and is killed. Four against one, who knew? At least she did get to tell Mike that his father was none other than the Michael Knight. No way!

In a Bond-esque move two of the bad guys go off and leave the other two to kill the FBI lady and Mike. Of course, they fail. You didn't think you'd get off that easy, did you? Just before they were captured KITT was hacked so they had to shut down his computers, now Mike has to drive himself to get the bad guys. It shouldn't be a problem though, their car isn't made by Ford.

They catch up and play bumper cars for awhile, this is when we find out that the computer must running for KITT to heal itself. During one pass, Charles gives Mike a cue and Mike races up in front. They re-boot KITT, which only takes 5 seconds, it must not run on Windows, and block the path of the truck carrying the bad guys and Charles. After some laws of physics are re-written the truck smashes into KITT, which stays in place, and everyone in the truck, except for Charles, are killed. But the lead bad guy, gets in one good line, "It's not over." Leading us to believe that the show has been picked up by NBC.

We cut to the funeral for Mike's mom. On the way over Charles asks Mike to drive KITT to stop all the bad guys in the world. He declines. He didn't believe in that same things they did. Talking cars? Good versus Evil? Hey, guess who showed up at the funeral? Yes, Michael Knight himself. After his very Darth Vader introduction "I'm Michael Knight. Your father." He tries to nudge Mike into joining up with Charles and KITT. Then he walks off, seemingly into the pond, because the way out of that cemetery was the other way. I still don't know where he went.

Finally we are at the end. Mike is in KITT. They are in an airplane, going to hunt some bad guys near Prague. Now at first, I thought they were in the truck, like the original, but then I wondered how they were going to drive to Prague. When I realized they were in a plane I wondered how they were going to drive out of it. You knew they were, that is the trademark of the show. Turns out they had the plane flying five feet over some highway, dumped KITT and Mike out the back, and they were gone. That was some fantastic flying!

And roll credits...

That was not good. Now that the writers are back, let's hope they have something better to put on in this time slot.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Turbo boost!

I'm sitting down to watch the new Knight Rider. The question is, how
cheesy is it going to be? We'll find out soon enough.

Wish me luck.

Weekend Assignment #203: Road Trip

Karen telling us to go on a road trip for this weekend assignment.

Where to go ... If we were taking the kids, I'd probably say Wisconsin Dells. It's a relatively pain free drive from the Chicago area, and the kids would have fun. I was looking at the web site just now; it is a lot different than when I was a kid. We went when I was young, about six, I only remember one thing -- conjunctivitis. No ski teams, no skiing squirrel, I only remember sitting by the pool with my eye oozing some greenish, white stuff. Then, during the night, the ooze faeries would come and weld my eyes shut, just for fun. It was a good time! I'm sure the bacteria that caused my condition is long gone now; we should be safe.

If it was just my wife and I, we would probably go downtown, stay in a nice hotel, and eat in a nice restaurant. We did that on our 10th anniversary and it was nice. A good time out on our own.

Karen is giving us $500 to spend. We might have to use some of our own money.

Friday, February 15, 2008

This air is making me thirsty

There is so much salt in the air out here in Chicagoland. Every time I lick my lips it tastes like I've just eaten a bag of potato chips or come out of the ocean. Combine the salty air with the cold, and it makes me thirsty all the time. I wonder if the extra salt in the air can contribute to high blood pressure? Someone should probably study that.

The roads are white, all the cars on the road are white, regardless of their original color, and there is a fine hazy whiteness to the air. That must be good for the lungs, don't you think? There is another snow storm probable Sunday, too. I feel I need to apologize again. I'm sorry.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I don't understand

I was about to blog about caffeine withdrawal; then I heard there was a shooting on the campus of NIU -- my alma mater. Caffeine didn't seem important anymore.

I'm tired of all the school shootings. I'm already a nervous parent the way it is, how am I going to send my kids to college? Or high school? What could be so bad that you need to take a gun to campus and shoot somebody? Not that it is much better, but what happened to the days of fist fighting? Sure, people got hurt, but for the most part, nobody died. It's too early to say whether or not anybody died in this latest attack, but the early reports are that the gun man has been taken down. Not a term that is generally used to mean handcuffed and taken downtown.

What do we need to do? There is always talk of gun control, but then everybody starts getting rattled about the right to bear arms and says it is unconstitutional. True, the Second Amendment says that, I'm don't think the intent was to have handguns to blow away people who tick you off.

I don't have the answers; I wish I did. All in know is that kids should be able to go to school without wearing Kevlar.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm old now.

We watched some of The Grammys the other night. I can't pinpoint the
exact date, but not that long ago, I became old. I didn't know a lot
of the bands or acts. The bands I did know were in categories that did
not get on the air. I had to look them up later online. Of course, the
band I wanted to win, Rush, didn't win in their category. They lost to
Bruce Springsteen. I'm not sure if that makes me feel older or

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Every Scar Tells a Story

I was looking down at my keyboard as I was typing, yes I have to do that, and noticed the scar on my left finger. I can remember exactly how it happened even though I was only about eight years old at the time. My mom and step-dad were in Las Vegas, they went there a lot in the 70's, and my grandmother was watching us. For some reason I wanted to try and carve the bar of soap in the bathroom. I think I saw a commercial with kids doing it. They had a plastic tool to carve, we did not. After digging around in the bathroom for a good tool, I found some tiny, curved scissors my mom had. I had no Idea what they were used for, maybe some kind of manicure device, all I knew was they were sharp. Very sharp. They would get the job done, no problem. I had to put a good amount of effort into cutting the soap, so when i got to the end of the bar I had a lot of force on the blade. Needless to say I wasn't able to stop when I ran out of soap. I will say that those little scissors cut through skin a lot easier than soap. At first I froze, then I bent my finger and watched the blood gush out. Not good. I thought I could see my bone in there, but it was probably only a tendon. I was a little kid, what did I know? I didn't want to tell my grandmother, I don't know why, so I ran it under cold water for a while, tried to stay conscious, then put a bandage on to stop the flow of blood. I don't remember anything else, all I know is that I avoided stitches.

Let's see, I have a scar on my forehead. My mom told me the scar was from when I fell off the bed while jumping on it. I'm not sure if that was true or not, since I was three or four when it happened. She probably just told me that growing up so I wouldn't jump on the bed. Mom's are like that. My son has a scar on his chin from when he fell off the chair while standing on it. He probably won't believe us either.

I have a scar on my knee from when I was running in the movie theater parking lot going to see Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I felt light-headed and nauseous during the whole movie because of the fall. To this day, though, I'm not sure if it was the fall in the parking lot, or the movie itself that made me fell that way. It could go either way. I was pretty young.

The scar I'm most proud of is the one on my right thigh. My friend and I thought it would be fun to stick apples from his tree on some BBQ forks and see how far we could through them. We were right, it was fun, until I tried for a record. I swung my arm so hard I couldn't stop the fork at the bottom of the arc. SLUNK! Right in the fleshy part of the thigh. It didn't bleed much, but puncture wounds don't heal easily. It's not big, but I know where it is. Again, no parents advised. How dirty could a BBQ fork that sat outside everyday be?

I have plenty more scars, but I'll save those for later. This is long enough. I can hear the snores from here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

touch me, baby

My wife and kids bought me an iPod Touch for my birthday. Is that
nice, or what? It's a fun little toy to play with. As a matter of
fact, this post is from the iPod. I never had a video iPod; I felt
behind the times. Now I am hip. Isn't that how it works?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Weekend Assignment #202: Love Story

I'm late with my assignment, but it is still before midnight so I should be OK.

Karen has this for us to consider:

Valentine's Day is coming! Tell us a love story. It can be the story of you and your beloved, someone else you know, that celebrity couple you find intriguing, a quick recap of a comedy or tragedy from Shakespeare, Rob Reiner or whomever (with attribution, of course), or a story you make up yourself. All I ask is that it be a tale of love that appeals to you for one reason or another.

She caught my eye from across a crowded bar. As the guy in front of me performed a keg stand, I worked up the courage to go talk to her....

Ok, that's not how it happened. I'm just trying to turn it into a scene from an Adam Sandler movie.

My wife and I met through mutual friends. Obviously she was (is) cute, but I had fun with her all the time as well, that is what made it click for me. We could talk about anything, we could have fun just watching TV, or going to the library and study completely different subjects. When I saw her actually enjoying some heavy metal music at a party one time, that was it. I was hooked.

We went to a restaurant in town for our first date, after I worked up the courage during a 25 minute phone conversation. She lived five flights upstairs from me, but in order for me to have the guts to ask her out, I had to do it over the phone. I'm a wuss, you know. On the walk to the restaurant she fell flat on her face. I'm sure she was mortified, but I helped her up, and we continued on our way. She says me not laughing at her made her realize I wasn't a jerk and might be a keeper. A true moment to share with our children as they get older.

Anyway, here we are closing in on 19 years together, in total. If that's not a love story, I don't know what is.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Looks tasty, huh? It's supposed to be a frozen pizza. This is what it looked like out of the box. I don't blame the pizza maker, so I won't name the brand, I blame Dominick's. The store by my house has a serious problem with their freezers. Most of the time the freezers are empty and dripping with water so they must know there is a problem. I don't like Jewel, or as some people say "The Jewel," so I keep going to Dominick's. I think I just need to find another one, at least when I want to buy frozen goods.

Now that I look at it again, it looks like a failed attempt at a heart-shaped pizza.

This is Iron Eagle

I watched some of Iron Eagle the other night. Wow. That was not a good movie. I'm sure kids who live with their families on military bases might get away with some things, but stealing an airplane full of ammunition. Really?!

Here's a quick recap. A pilot is shot down and held by some generic Middle Eastern country. The US Air Force can't go in and get him, so the pilot's 16 year old son and his friends devise a plan to get him out. They talk a Colonel into helping them with their plan, and Doug, the son, and the Colonel, Chappy, set off in stolen planes to get Doug's dad back. Yes, of course they succeed, but not until after Chappy gets shot down and Doug must do most of it on his own. No, he has not had formal Air Force training, but does he really need it? He's going against some little country in the Middle East, how hard could it be?

Oh, I almost for got to mention that Doug had some contraption strapped to his leg that allowed him to play his Walkman in the cockpit. It worked so well that somehow, after playing a Queen song, they gained seven minutes on their flight time. I knew Queen was a good band, but I didn't realize they could slow the flow of time.

I liked the fact that the country that Doug Masters and "Chappy" had to attack was so lame that they only had one airbase. They knocked out the single runway that the base had with two missiles and crippled their entire air force. It's not like the country couldn't afford more, Doug blew up an oil field supposedly worth 100 million dollars (say that in Dr. Evil's voice and it is funnier).

Why did I watch it? Well, sometimes it is fun to watch bad movies, the bad acting, the horrible dialogue, and the bad special effects. When these planes were shot out of the sky there was no flame, spark, or explosion of any kind. They just broke apart like the wood mock-ups that they were. Not very exciting.

Now, I will say that I liked the movie when it first came out. I was about 16 and my sister took me to see it. It was hard not to get sucked in when I was about the same age as the kid flying around in the F-16.

This was one of many movies that my sister took me to back in the day. Some she probably should not have taken me to. I remember her getting in trouble for taking my brother and I to see Hooper when I was about eight years old. She was babysitting us while our parents were out on the town. The problem was we couldn't get into the normal show time since it was sold out. I think we got home close to midnight and our parents were either waiting for us or got home at the same time. I'm not sure what got her in more trouble, the time or the movie.

M&M update: I have not had any since Fat Tuesday. I did have some raisinets today, but they are good for me. It says so right on the package!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Snow Day

The kids have a snow day today (again), a half day tomorrow and Friday off. They've had it pretty easy since Christmas break. In may day we never had a day off for snow. We walked to school in two feet of snow, uphill, blah, blah, blah. You know the rest.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Where is Quincy when you need him?

Obviously there has been some kind of disaster here:

My daughter says they are "sleeping." I'm not so sure. Should I be worried? About my daughter, I mean. Do all girls put their babies to sleep this way?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Bulking Up

I've been preparing for Fat Tuesday all winter. I'm ready to go. I'm been eating lousy all winter and I'm pretty much maxed out on weight. That's what it is all about, right? Getting to your max weight right before Lent so you can avoid all fun food until Easter?

OK, maybe that isn't the exact definition for Fat Tuesday, but that is what I did this winter. I stuffed myself. Maybe, deep down, I knew we were going to have those cold spells, so I wanted to add a layer of insulation. Now it is time to get rid of it.

The first thing I'm going to do is give up M&M's for Lent. I will say that I am going to allow myself to eat some on my birthday, I have to give myself some kind of present.

Second, I'm going to ween myself off of Cherry Coke and Dr Pepper. I know I can't go cold turkey, I don't want to deal with the caffeine withdrawal headache. I've had them before, It feels like someone is drilling for oil in my skull.

I figure getting rid of those two things, and keeping up with the running, I could drop the extra weight easy. Those of you know me, know how many M&M's I eat. Put it this way, those bags that say 'medium' on them, are gone in a 24 hour period, no problem. It's a sickness really. I think it needs to be listed as a psychological disorder. Who can I write to to get it in the latest edition of the DSM?

It all starts at midnight tomorrow. Wish me luck. Prepare for 46 days of complaining.

Lake Geneva Winterfest Run

I started writing a very long post about this race, then I got tied up and work and didn't finish. I pulled up the draft and decided it was too long. Nothing like a long boring entry about a 5K to bore the hell out of everybody.

OK, short and sweet. It was cold. Cold and hilly. I never thought of Lake Geneva as being a hilly place. I think the only hills in the area were on this course. It seemed that way at least. We were warned about the hills by a nice guy we met at registration,which helped us I think. I realize I sound like a wuss, and I readily admit that, but these hills were more than I was prepared for. I live in the suburbs of Chicago, we don't run on hills. Especially in the winter. In the snow. I was afraid I was going to slip and roll down the hill, taking out the other runners like bowling pins. Needless to say, that didn't happen, I would have lead off with that.

Overall, it was fun. We were very cold before the race started, but once we were away from the lake and moving, it wasn't too bad. We have both noticed our shins hurt the day after the race. Or should I say, the muscles in the front of our legs, I don't know what they are called.

Next up, The Shamrock Shuffle in March. I have never run and 8K before; I'm a little nervous. I hope I can make it, especially since we are going to have friends and family members there. I don't want to pass out in front of them.

This didn't turn out very short, did it?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Weekend Assignment #201

I'm a little late getting to the assignment this weekend, I usually get it done on Friday. It is probably the only time I don't procrastinate.

Weekend Assignment #201: To promote a new cooking show, a TV station is going to pay you $500 to eat the same basic meal every day for a week, prepared with only minor variations by their on-screen host. What's on the menu?

The best answer for me is pizza. That should be easy, right? The host could make a stuffed pizza one day, ultra-thin crust another day, and mix up the toppings everyday. It would be like reliving my high school days. The only restriction -- no fish on my pizza. None of the slimy, hairy anchovy garbage. I worked at a pizza place one summer and we would fight over who had to make the anchovy pizzas.

I could even suggest a sponsor for the week: Maalox. If I had pizza everyday I would go through several bottles of antacid, but it would be worth it.

Extra credit: Do you tend to eat the same thing all the time anyway?

No, not everyday, but over the course of two weeks you would see plenty of repeats. I don't have a wide range of food I like, and my cooking ability is very poor. I can follow a simple recipe, but start throwing advanced cooking techniques at me and I'm lost.
How do you blanch something anyway? 

Friday, February 1, 2008

Bad Idea?

My wife and I are running a 5K in Lake Geneva this weekend. We thought it would be a good idea when we signed up months ago, something to keep us motivated to run during the winter. There is nothing that sucks the will to run out of you more than the sun going down at 4pm and a cold wind howling all the time. We live in the Chicago area, it is like that most of the time from November through March. My hope was that we'd get lucky and have a warm spell this weekend. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We got about 7 inches of snow at the house last night and the roads are still sloppy. Of course, it was almost 50 degrees outside Tuesday. So close! I hope the roads are cleared out on the course, I don't want to wipe out and break something.

We can't back out of the race either, we are staying at my dad's house with the kids. You don't want to disappoint grandparents, you might need them later. Also, we bought some winter running gear to be prepared, we have to use it now. What other time am I going to wear my bank robber-running mask? The plan is to go check it out, if the course looks dangerous we are going to take our packets and go back. At least we are going to give it a shot. This race gave us a reason to go on the treadmill, even when we'd rather watch TV and have some ice cream. Plus, it will be a good base for the Shamrock Shuffle. It better be warm by the end of March! Wishful thinking, I know.

Clean as a Whistle

My wife picked up Irish Spring soap at the store the other day. Every time I use the soap I think of those old commercials for Irish Spring. "Fresh and clean as a Whistle." Looking back on it now I wonder, why did the guy always shower outside? Was he too poor to have a shower in the house? Was it supposed to make you feel that you would be cleaner as you shower with nature? You know what? Nature is dirty and smelly. My dorm in college was across the from a farm, as natural as you can get, when spring hit it stunk. Bad. That is nature people, smelly.

The showering guy would also cut into the soap to show you the middle. I guess he wanted to prove that it wasn't hollow like a cheap, chocolate Easter bunny. I guess he cleaned his hunting knife as he showered, that's why it was handy.

Back in those days we were a Coast family. I needed soap to get me going in the morning. Most people drink coffee, I used caffeinated soap. That was the idea of Coast, right? Am I wrong?

Wow! I was joking, but there really is soap with caffeine.