7.29.2008

one lesson. (probably not) learned.

This morning, I had a meeting in the big city about an hour south of me that ended at about 11a, so I decided to stop and get some lunch for my drive back home. I was looking for a Chipotle because I have some cards for free burritos, but I didn't run across one, so I stopped at Jimmy John's and got what I always get: a #3 and a bag of jalapeno chips. I very carefully unwrapped the paper and closed it up around the bottom of the sandwich and as I was starving, dug in. About halfway through, I felt a little dampness on my stomach, but didn't really think anything about it, I was too engaged in mowing through my lunch. Then I happened to look down and noticed that the mayonnaise-juice that is inherent with a tuna salad sandwich had wormed it's way through a wrinkle in the paper and leaked all the way down the front of my shirt and the crotch of my pants. We're talking a lot of mayonnaise-juice people.

So, instead of stopping at the gym on my way home like I'd planned (which was really the whole reason for eating lunch on the road in the first place instead of just waiting until I got home), I came home to change my clothes and then turned around and went back to the gym. And I swear I smelled the lingering smell of tuna juice the whole time I was bouldering.

Sigh.

I wish I could say that this was an unusual experience, but I just spilled salad dressing all down the front of my second shirt of the day. It's untenable. I think I'm gonna just start going naked from now on. It'd be cheaper.

7.27.2008

07 21 - 07 28 (right? are those the correct dates?)

The only thing exciting that happened to me last week was that I had to buy four new shoes for my car. Then I got suckered into getting the alignment even though I know that it's a completely bogus mechanical procedure. I just didn't want to argue with the guy any more. And it was only $60. The bad thing is my car feels like it drives worse now than before I took it in. But that may just be psychosomatic. They also filled the tires with nitrogen. Which means you have to take it in there if you get a flat. Another way for them to milk money out of people. They didn't even ask, they just did it. I kind of felt like maybe I should ask them to take it all out and put in, you know, oxygen, but then I thought of the poor trees and figured maybe it was saving them a little bit of work.

I read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card for the first time in my life. For all the years I was a rabid sci-fi fan, I can't believe I never picked it up before. Now I'm reading The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon. It's weird and quirky. I like it.

I barely, and I mean barely, got in all my downloads on eMusic yesterday before they converted to the next month. I need to be better about that. So far I'm really excited about the new Cloud Cult and the new My Brightest Diamond and a new find, LK. Whom I know nothing about. I meant to do some research on them before I posted so I could sound all knowledgeable and shit, but I'm too lazy.

Oh, and I changed my Netflix to only one movie at a time. It doesn't start until 08 06 08, and I'm nervous that I may've made the biggest mistake of my life. Although I really haven't been watching that many movies lately. One I did recently watch, My Blueberry Nights, I recommend. All-star cast and a nice sweet story. Despite the very predictable ending. Natalie Portman is always fun to watch and Norah Jones is surprisingly not all that bad at acting. The soundtrack was pretty decent as well.

I'm happy to report that the grass in my back yard is kind of coming back. A little. It helps that we've been getting a little bit of rain here and there.

That's all folks.

7.21.2008

even though this post contains no spoilers you might want to avoid reading it if you haven't seen the movie yet

While my boss can totally suck it sometimes, there are times when he can be a pretty kick ass guy to work for. Take today, for instance, when we got all of our work done by noon, and since I'd already gone for a run early this morning, and it's too hot to live outside, he let me take the afternoon off and go to where there's kind of free air conditioning.

I'm not gonna say a lot about the movie. Much has been said about it already and by much better writers than I. What I will say is this:
• Heath Ledger was probably one of the best actors any of us will ever run across in our lifetimes.
• The special effects will make your eyeballs pop like overripe grapes.
• The writing, for a comic book movie, well, for any movie really, was simply outstanding. As was the direction. And the cinematography.

One of the things that I liked best about Batman Begins (and incidentally what I hated about the previous Batman franchise) was that it made the inherent silliness of the comic books into something real and believable. You could actually believe in a world where people go crazy and take on alternate identities and try to destroy the world. They didn't just invite us into this weird, cartoonish world, but instead made the cartoon world seem like a viable place. Fortunately, and it's one of the things that makes the movie so great, is they're able to pull the same thing off in The Dark Knight.

The only even minor disappointment was Maggie Gyllenhal as Rachel. I don't know why, but she just didn't seem that believable to me as a love interest for both men. She's just not pretty enough to pull it off. But that aside, I think I can say with all sincerity that The Dark Knight is the best movie of Ought 8.

7.20.2008

i actually got outside and the world didn't come to an end


For the past month or so I've been too work-overloaded to enjoy Mama Nature, which has been rather depressing. So, this weekend I signed up for a walk in the woods with the local chapter of the Sierra Club. We did an 8-mile loop hike in Rocky Mountain National Park that included Helene, Odessa and Fern Lakes.

Good times, and beer afterwards, were had by all.

More pics up on the Flickr.

7.18.2008

this minute's internet sensation


When you get a free half an hour check out Dr. Horrible's Sing A Long Blog. Created by Joss Whedon, it stars an extremely hilarious Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible) as a bumbling, nerdy villain and the equally funny Nathan Fillion (The Hammer) as a superhero who's only in it to get the babes. Usually, I'm not a big fan of the musical, but this made me laugh my ass off through pretty much the whole thing. The plot: Dr. Horrible is trying to come up with the best nefarious plan that will allow him entry into The Evil League of Evil, but gets distracted by Penny, The Girl He Knows from the Laundromat, but Hasn't Had the Guts to Talk to Yet. The Hammer, his arch nemesis steals the girl and spoils every one of his nefarious plans.

But hurry. Right now it's free, but after Saturday, you'll have to pay for it.

7.17.2008

i wish more people felt this way

"The answer is simple: Unjustified war and unconstitutional abridgment of individual rights vs. ill-conceived tax and economic policies - this is the difference between venial and mortal sins. Taxes, economic policy and health care reform matter, of course. But how we extract ourselves from the bloody boondoggle in Iraq, how we avoid getting into a war with Iran and how we preserve our individual rights while dealing with real foreign threats - these are of greater importance,"
- Larry Hunter, New York Daily News.

7.14.2008

stuff and such

I decided that I couldn't live with the sad state my lawn is in, so I bought some more grass seed this weekend. And what is probably the dirtiest name for a product I've come across in a long time, Lawn Honey. Supposedly, it will re-green your lawn in a mere seven days and it bonds something-scientific-something-or-other in the soil to new seed to help it grow stronger and faster. Although, I doubt there's anything in the world that will help it grow if the R-dog doesn't stop going out there and rolling around on top of it.

If this doesn't work, I may give up all hope of having a nice lawn.

I worked an entire 4.5 hours today. I'm exhausted. If I ever eventually go back to a full-time job, there's going to be a very, very rough transition period.

Last week I finally got up the courage to call a plumber to fix the leaking bathtub faucet that I couldn't fix this winter. The first place I called, which had an actual brochure that I found somewhere, said they'd charge me $50 to even knock on my door. In my head I saw a bill totaling $500. So, after hanging up with them, I decided to head to the ol' trusty interbunny. Specifically, craigslist. I found a guy who came to my house at 8a, fixed the leak in about 25 minutes and then re-stuck the thingymabobs to the tile with some silicone something or other, all for the low-low price of $37.50. Moral of the story: the internet is awesome. The only regret I have is not doing this a whole lot sooner. I would've wasted a lot less water.

Can anyone explain to me why there's another X-files movie coming out?

7.10.2008

let's talk politics for a moment, shall we?

For a while there, I had to stop paying attention to politics, it was ruining my life, you know. However, as the Democratic National Convention draws nearer, I've begun, tentatively, to peek at the headlines. Which leads occasionally to actually reading the entire article.

I can't believe that Jesse Jackson said out loud what he did. Microphone gaffs will continue to dog politicians until the day they learn to maybe not say everything that pops into their heads. So, you know, until the end of days. And, when, when, when will the Democratic Party learn to not be its own worst enemy?

I know poll numbers don't mean jack, especially this far out, but I'm frankly shocked by how many people think McCain will make a good president. I know that the hardcore Elephants would never even think of voting any other way, but I would imagine that more of the moderate Repubs wouldn't hesitate to cross over with the abysmal candidate they have before them. Plus, now, I'm starting to fear that 2008 may be a repeat 0f 2004 with McCain being personified as the 'regular-aw-shucks' guy and Obama being called the 'superior intellectual' by the media.

I really may just have to roll up into a ball and suck my thumb until it's all over.

7.08.2008

i know i keep dumping it all into one post, but i don't have a lot to say, so this makes it easier. deal.


It's a fairly well-known fact that I am terrified of birds. I'm not really sure why either. I was probably a mouse in a past life or something. Or it's the fault of The Birds by Hitchcock. I don't know. Anyway some robins built a nest on this little shelf-like thing under my roof. Which is right by the water valve to which the sprinkler is attached. So, three times a week, every ten minutes for an hour, the mama robin tries to peck out my eyes while I try to water the grass. Which turns this already fairly nauseating chore into something from American Gladiators. And makes me kind of want to just let the grass die.

I'm sort of in love with Santogold. Which is weird because electronic dance music is soooooo not my bag.

I started rereading Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land over vacation and am happy to report that I have found myself enjoying reading again. So, maybe it was just my choice of reading material.

7.03.2008

things and such

1) Wolf Parade's At Mount Zoomer
Don't tell anyone just yet, but I think I like their sophomore effort more than their debut. It took me a while to get into Apologies to Queen Mary. Like. A looooonnnng while. Like, I didn't start really listening to it until it had been out for almost six months. Even though I'd had it since it'd been released. But Mount Zoomer I loved from play one. Maybe it's because I finally realized that I love their sound. Maybe it's because Zoomer sounds more polished than Apologies. Or maybe, just maybe, it's because Zoomer f'ing rocks it hard. If you can listen to 'Language City' without wanting to dance around the room, then there's something rotten in your soul. Seriously, it's almost like three songs in one. And the soft swell about halfway through? It makes my heart bleed. And there's trumpets! Take a listen for yourself, but if you don't like it, don't tell me, because I won't want to know you anymore.

Language City - Wolf Parade

Note to Mr Krug: If you want me to remove this, please don't hesitate to contact me and I will take it down immediately.

2) Working from home

I sort of took Monday and Tuesday off from work. Even though I had a couple of small projects I could've been completing. I just couldn't seem to get motivated and figured I had plenty of time. Which turned out to be something of a mistake because today I got three new really big projects that are all due next week. So, it looks like I'm going to be working over the weekend. Which is alright I guess since I had two extra days of vacation.

Speaking of which, I keep forgetting that it's a holiday tomorrow and I couldn't figure out why the gym was so busy this afternoon until I overheard two guys in the locker room talking about how much beer they were getting ready to drink. Then I went to Whole Foods and in the parking lot realized I was just about to embark on one of the most annoying experiences of my existence, so I took a deep breath and told myself to remain calm no matter what happened. It ended up being not really all that bad. Thankfully.

3) At the gym

I ran intervals today on the treadmill after bouldering for about an hour. I ran so hard that I seriously almost threw up on said treadmill after I was done. Thankfully, I didn't. 'Cause that would've just been embarrassing.

7.01.2008

becoming a snail, or turtle

Kate reminded me that I've been wanting to do some gear reviews for a while now, more as an attempt to keep track of all the things I love (and hate) about the outdoor gear I use than any mistaken belief that the two of you who read this blog will give a rat's @$$. This way if I ever need to replace said gear, I'll know what to look for, or avoid, the next time.

To start off this rousing bit of journalistic prowess, I'm going to write up my tent—a Eureka Mountain Pass 2XT. First off, I love my tent. I've had it for almost seven years and have used it in every season on both car camping and backpacking trips. I've taken it to a cold campground in the southern end of Nebraska in the middle of January. It's gone to Utah in November and Montana in the middle of the summer and Colorado all year 'round. Technically, it's only a 3-season, but with the right sleeping bag and if Jack Frost is in a good mood, it can be pretty comfortable in the winter.



Pros
• It's great for one person and fits two reasonably-sized adults pretty comfortably.
• The two doors for me are essential. I get up at least once every night to pee and not having to crawl over anybody to relieve my bladder is welcome by everyone involved. I imagine.
• It sets up easily in about five minutes.
• Stays really, really dry even in torrential downpours.
• It's got a ton of mesh windows for a three-season tent. If it's warm enough and dry enough, leaving the fly off and opening all the windows provides a fairly cool night.
• The two vestibules are a godsend when backpacking. Although one is smaller than the other, both are big enough for a full pack and shoes and maybe even a dog if it's small enough.
• I've never used it in a tornado, but in windy Wyoming it stayed pretty still.
• The two mesh gear pockets on the inside are perfect for glasses and headlamps.

Cons
• It's a little heavy for backpacking, weighing in at seven pounds, but if you have someone else to carry the poles, you're all set.

All in all the Eureka Mountain Pass makes an excellent home away from home. And apparently the boy scouts love it, which means it's gotta be pretty good, right?