January 31, 2004

Bits And Pieces

A few bits and pieces gathered throughout the day...

Quick Review: A while back I wrote a quick review of Mystic River - the book. We went and checked out the movie this afternoon. It was excellent and stuck remarkably close to the novel. That said, if you were forced into making a choice between the book and the movie, I'd still go with the book.

Offsides? I'll admit it here and now - I'm not a football fan. I don't have anything against it, I just frankly don't care. So would it sound entirely too strange if I told you I was honestly considering TiVoing the game so I could fastforward through the football part ot see the commercials? Or is that a penalty for illegal use of TiVo equipment?

Hair, Mind...Both Terrible Things to Waste: After the movie this afternoon, getting ready to head out for dinner (so this happened about 10 minutes ago).

Me: What are you looking at?
Her: Just your hair. You're right. Its going a little gray.
Me: I'm lucky. None of the men in my family are bald.
Her: Its passed down through the women.
Me: None of them are bald either.
Her: Your grandfather is pretty bald.
Me: Well, not really.
Her: He's lost a lot of his hair.
Me: He's lost a lot of his mind. I'm not sure he notices the hair all that much.

Posted by Chris at 04:36 PM | Comments (10)

January 30, 2004

Random Question for Friday

Can anyone tell me what, precisely, was wrong with the original flavors?

Happy Friday everyone!

Posted by Chris at 03:38 PM | Comments (13)

Its Like The Mothership Calling Me Home

Have you ever seen a cooler Starbucks?

...and I present to you the official pillow for Friday...

Posted by Chris at 07:39 AM | Comments (21)

January 29, 2004

If These Dogs Could Talk

An early IM conversation between two tired people.

Me: Did you get your TiVo hooked up yet?
Her: No. I'm still waiting for the wireless thing.
Me: Oh.
Her: But TiVo is the greatest invention ever.
Me: You know that already?
Her: Yep. Followed by IM.
Me: I can go with that.
Her: Then text messaging.
Me: How about computers? I mean, everything runs on them.
Her: No. Computers are boring.
Me: You work with computers.
Her: I know. Oh! And another good invention - those things that translate what your dog says.
Me: No, I definitely don't agree with that.
Her: Why not?
Me: Well, what if you find out your dog's really an asshole? I mean, do you really need to know that?
Her: Okay. I guess you're right.
Me: Like you get home after a long day at work and your dog says, "feed me you prick, I'm fucking hungry, dumbass." You don't need to hear that coming from your dog.
Her: Yeah. I'm with you. I take that back.

Posted by Chris at 10:10 AM | Comments (17)

Happy Thursday!

Happy Thursday everyone...its one day closer to Friday which can't be a bad thing. Just to update you all, the drilling went fine yesterday despite the fact that it took an hour and a half and my jaw feels like it was ripped apart. So, yeah, other than that just fine.

A Moveable Type question: Do any of you MT users have any idea how to remove comments in bulk? I got spammed yesterday and somewhere around 130 comments were left. I hate to do this one by one. Suggestions? Let me know and I'll be eternally grateful.

Posted by Chris at 07:03 AM | Comments (6)

January 28, 2004

More About The Raisins

Out of my own strange sense of curiousity, I followed up on the post about government contracts, more specifically the contract regarding raisins. Here's what I've come up with.

While the title of the RFP is simple, the full-blown title is not. The official name? Feasibility of Insuring Dried-On-Vine Raisin Production Method and Evaluation of the Raisin Crop Insurance Program Design. Also someone actually sat down and published something called the Raisin Loss Adjustment Standards Handbook. Bet this guy was popular in college. He probably roomed with the guy who wrote the Raisin Crop Insurance Program Design report.

These are your tax dollars at work, folks. Be proud!

Posted by Chris at 10:21 AM | Comments (2)

Gonna Get Drilled...And Not In The Good Way

I just thought you should know - I'm a real wuss sometimes. I've got to go to the dentist this afternoon and I don't wanna! I've got to get a cavity filled - or rather, get a cavity filled that had previously been filled by my incompetent old dentist who used a temporary filling instead of a real one.

My dentist is lucky I like her...otherwise I'd be munching on a bag of Oreos all day.

Posted by Chris at 07:54 AM | Comments (9)

An RX For Waiting

On my way home yesterday - early because the federal government decided to close its doors early due to the winter weather and I didn't want to get caught in the inevitable traffic - I had to stop and pick up a prescription. Unfortunately, about six or seven other people had the same idea. They were in front of me. I was not pleased. Now, there were six - yes, six - people behind the counter and yet it took me 30 minutes to make it to the front of the line where I was promptly told that my perscriptions had not been filled because I'd been given a new insurance card.

The Problem: Couldn't they have called to tell me this? "Mr. Cactus, we're unable to fill your prescriptions because we need a copy of your new insurance card. Please drop it by at your convenience." Something like that? Now, I'm not the president of a country, I'm not running some multi-national corporation but I kinda do value my time.

Anyway, I killed some time in a bookstore not far away and picked up my prescriptions a half an hour later.

Posted by Chris at 07:49 AM | Comments (3)

January 27, 2004

I'll Take The Contract For Raisins, Please

I'm looking for a government contract online, more specifically a statement of work to which my company will respond. No, this is not fun...until you actually start looking at the jobs the government is putting out there. Here are a few contracts that companies are invited to bid upon:

  • Appraisal Methods for Canola/Rapeseed, Crambe, and Mustard Crops;
  • Wheat Tillering;
  • Research Pan Temperature measurement System for Household Electric Ceramic Glass Cooking Ranges Control System To Prevent Ignition of Cooking Materials;
  • Provide Bottle water and dispenser; and my favorite
  • Raisins.

Sometimes you just have to scratch your head and say "huh."

Posted by Chris at 11:19 AM | Comments (13)

January 26, 2004

Brief Notes from the Arctic Tundra

1. Problems with working from home include strong desire to nap; lack of focus; limited ability to retrieve the information I actually need; multiple trips to the kitchen; strong desire to nap; easy access to guitars, music, televison and other distractions; cats want food constantly; strong desire to nap.

2. Do you have high-speed Internet access? If so, have you hugged your modem today? Now, you'd think that living a mere 30 miles from the nation's capital would negate any problems obtaining broadband access, right? Wrong. When I'm home, I'm stuck with dial-up. Which is whhyyyy...I'mmm...cooommmmuuunnnniiicccccaaaatttttiiiinnnngggg....soooo....ssssllllooooowwwwllllllyyyyy. If I haven't visited your blog today, that's why. I'll get there soon.

3. Music tip in return for all your kind recommendations (which I will get to in a post soon): Lonliness Knows My Name by Patrick Park. This is an excellent and very ecclectic CD. I picked it up at Best Buy for $10 so what can you lose?

Posted by Chris at 02:30 PM | Comments (10)

Haiku For Monday #14

Winter came calling
And left behind snowy roads
I'm working from home

Posted by Chris at 07:52 AM | Comments (17)

January 25, 2004


This is Callie who I believe you've met before. Sure, I've got a definite bias here but I have to say she's the sweetest cat ever. And while its not the greatest picture in the world, there's something about this one that I like. I think its in the eyes.

Posted by Chris at 11:19 AM | Comments (16)

January 24, 2004

Pieces Of The Weekend

Eventually, I'll get the January galleries up. Until then...

Posted by Chris at 02:59 PM | Comments (3)

January 23, 2004

Your Recommendations Please

I'm in the mood to buy some music but I'd like your recommendations. So fill up my comments with some musical goodness. Tell me what you like, what to check out. There are a few stipulations:

1. I own an ungodly amount of CDs so I might already have it. Don't be offended if I don't run right out and pick it up.

2. All purchases are subject to mood and availability.

3. No country, rap or hip-hop. Unless its actually country-hip hop. That I'd like to hear.

Posted by Chris at 10:05 AM | Comments (43)

Eleven Years

Would you like to hear something amazing? As of yesterday, January 22nd, my wife and I have been together for eleven years. Yes, eleven years. Its hard enough for me to believe I'm old enough to have been in a relationship that long...much less actually pulled it off! Yea us!

Posted by Chris at 09:01 AM | Comments (22)

January 22, 2004

You Outta Be In Pictures

Have you ever thought about the number of pictures you've appeared in? The number of places your image has traveled? Think about it.

Let's say you're a well-traveled individual. Maybe you've made it to most states in the US or hopped over the pond to a couple European capitals. When you did this, you probably ran into a lot of people doing the same thing, each with a camera. Maybe many of those people caught you in their lenses.

You were snapped in Trafalgar Square chasing pidgeons. You were in the corner of a picture of the Eiffel Tower, caught while you were posing for a picture of your own. While you were getting a shot of the view over the edge of the Grand Canyon, someone captured you in their attempt at a panoramic shot. And the time your father took that picture of you at the peak, having finally made it to the top of Mount Moran.

And maybe the photographer in Trafalgar Square lives in Tokyo and blew up that shot to show all of his business associates. The man taking the picture in which you were caught at the Eiffel Tower is a spy, taking surveillance photos for the Russian government. And the woman who attempted that panoramic shot of the Grand Canyon now treasures that photo, the last one saved before a blaze consumed her home. You appeared as a barely human speck on the peak of a mountain taken by an older man from a wheelchair who'd never climb that high again.

Do you know how many people's lives your a part of? How many people's memories? Think about it.

Posted by Chris at 07:51 PM | Comments (14)

In My Shoes

What would you be doing today if you were in my shoes?

1. Finish oatmeal and begin drinking vast amounts of coffee.
2. Begin reviewing the 1,000 pages of documentation you received yesterday afternoon in preparation for a meeting at 12:30.
3. Catch a ride to DC for said meeting.
4. Interview clients about afformentioned documentation with full knowledge they do not know the answers to any possible questions I may have.
5. Catch ride back to the office.
6. Beat head against wall.
7. Go home.

Needless to say, if you don't hear from me much today, that's why.

Posted by Chris at 07:21 AM | Comments (16)

January 21, 2004

Hump Day Photos

...flower power...

...and never let it be said I don't show you how I really feel. None of this repression crap for me.

Posted by Chris at 07:55 PM | Comments (13)

Come On In...The Water's Fine

Have you visited Amber...BamberBoo lately? You should. For some reason and completely without violence, Amber's surrendered control of her blog while visiting Scotland. Daisy, tj, Mindy and I are running the show. Come by...see anarchy in action!

Posted by Chris at 05:10 PM | Comments (2)

Dumbass Move Of The Day

I just got back from a meeting off-site. I had my badge out, swiped it to get into the garage, found a good parking space, grabbed my stuff and headed out of the garage towards my building. Very much a coordinated effort, right? Think again. I never turned my car off. I just got out, shut the door and walked away.

Posted by Chris at 01:56 PM | Comments (21)

Kill Your Television

A conversation over dinner...

Me: So, are you going to watch the State of the Union with me?
Her: Are you going to scream at the TV again?
Me: I don't scream. I just use really foul language.
Her: Well, are you?
Me: I'll try not to.
Her: I'd watch if he'd do something interesting...like juggled.
Me: With trained seals!
Her: Yes. And strippers.
Me: Yeah. I'd watch and I probably wouldn't yell at the TV as much.

And I'd like it to be known here and now that I didn't yell at the TV at all. I scoffed, I laughed and I made plenty of faces but I didn't yell. My wife was the one who let loose a stream of sarcasm-laden questions. Not me. I just got slowly and steadily pissed.

You want my honest opinion of the State of the Union last night? Dubya's full of shit. I know, I know. This is no great revelation here. I'm not blazing a new political trail. But No Child Left Behind is a disaster thus far, as states have been unable to keep up with the spending requirements placed upon them by the White House. The Patriot Act is the single most invasive legislation ever passed in the United States and it should, indeed, expire leaving it impotent without the possibility of continued civil rights violations. And while it was a noble try, we didn't find any weapons of mass destruction so lets not act like it. Lets put pressure on Iran and North Korea to dismantle their nuclear weapons programs - fine. We can even call those countries dangerous. But can we really ask them to do what we're unwilling to do? Many in the world would consider us equally dangerous.

I'm sorry. I could go on and on. I won't. I'll spare you that.

Posted by Chris at 07:10 AM | Comments (17)

January 20, 2004

Must See TV

In celebration of tonight's State of the Union, I've come up with a few things I'd like to hear Bush say to all of us:

- "Let's give it up for Dick!"
- "You thought my father was bad? Get a load of me!"
- "We will soon negotiatate stable electorage for the Iraquian people."
- "See, we were just full of shit about the whole weapons of mass destruction thing."
- "When it comes to the security of these American states, I think J. Edgar Hoover was onto something. Two words, America: women's clothing."
- "That whole moon thing was just a joke. Gotcha!"

Truthfully, I hope it doesn't go like that at all. I'd be much happier if he just tripped on his way to the podium and we got to skip the whole thing altogether.

Posted by Chris at 03:28 PM | Comments (3)

I'm On A Roll

Remember how you used to be able to search Blogrolling and see who'd linked to you? I miss that. And because of that, I might be missing you. Yes, you. If you've linked to me and visit me somewhat regularly and you're NOT on my blogrolls, give me a shout! I'd like to know who you are.

UPDATE: Hey, whaddya know. As soon as I post this, the search feature seems to be back on! But still, let me know!

Posted by Chris at 12:10 PM | Comments (12)

January 19, 2004

Big-Ass Lunch

Since its a federal holiday and our clients are mainly government, my team decided to take one of our co-workers out for a "going away" lunch. I am now very well aware of the reasons I rarely eat large lunches. While the four-cheese ravioli, salmon, salad and stuffed mushrooms were all quite good, I feel like hell and can't stop yawning. If you need me, I'll be asleep under my desk.

Posted by Chris at 04:35 PM | Comments (8)

Haiku For Monday #13

Oh a holiday
Why don't I get the day off?
Bad employer, bad

Office half empty
Java flowing, workers tired
Bed calling our names

Posted by Chris at 09:03 AM | Comments (16)

January 17, 2004

A Coppola Cages

We watched Adaptation this afternoon. I have to say that its the best movie about a screenplay about a movie about a book that I've ever seen.

Posted by Chris at 05:54 PM | Comments (15)

January 16, 2004

Another Friday

Just in case you didn't know...IT'S FRIDAY!!

I'm halfway through a giant cup of coffee and finished off a cranberry muffin. What could be better? Well, not being at work for one thing. And I'd take a nice 70 degree day over the below-zero windchills we've got. Okay, if you really want to know, I'd like to get back in my warm bed with my purring cat asleep on my back. Oh, and there's season three of The Sopranos I could get into...not to mention the book I want to finish. Plus, I've got a lot of TiVoed stuff I should probably try and watch. And my lovely wife took the day off so hanging out and doing all this stuff with her would be pretty cool.

So, yeah, lots of things could be better than my cup of coffee and cranberry muffin. But hey, IT'S FRIDAY!!

Posted by Chris at 08:08 AM | Comments (22)

January 15, 2004

Waste of Space

When I was growing up, like most kids, I got hooked on space. I watched old Star Trek episodes, read sci-fi novels and stared up at the sky for long periods of time, imagining what it must be like. Even in my 30's I'm still pretty curious about what might be out there.

That said, I think Dubya's plan to land on the moon is one of the most singularly stupid things I've ever heard. Especially now.

It seems to me $12 billion is a lot to spend over the next five years. Especially while the economy is only now staging a slow recovery, unemployment rates remain high and more jobs continue to be shipped overseas, nearly every state in the Union faces critical budget deficits inevitably leading to a decrease in state funding of educational and social welfare programs, not to mention the "war against terror."

And why now? Why the sudden need? It's been 31 years since our last visit. Surely the moon can wait. Could it be a diversionary tactic? Maybe a little election-year politics? Is Dubya "pulling a Kennedy?" Surely not.

Like I said, I'm into space as much as the next person and I do believe its a noble goal. But not now. Not when we have so many other things on which we could be spending this money. Not when there are people fighting wars on our behalf in dusty corners of the world and people starving in the streets of our own hometowns.

Posted by Chris at 12:21 PM | Comments (15)

Beach Mill

Scott and I spent some quality time growing up together. And despite the fact that times have changed, careers and families have dragged us to different parts of the country, we still keep in touch and have almost every day since he moved in 1990. He came to my wedding, where I married my beautiful wife and he met his future bride. We attended his wedding a few years back and had the opportunity to meet their gorgeous daughter not long ago. I’m still astonished that one of us has one of those.

There was this road not far from where we lived. It was buried in woods, complete with twists and turns, bridges and streams. We’d cruise back and forth on cool spring and summer evenings with the stereo in my Jeep cranked as loud as it could go. We listened to everything but I especially remember The Police, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Ozzy Osbourne. Sure, we might not have always had great taste back then but remember, these were “formative years.”

Time invariably passes. I drove down that road not long ago and it seemed much smaller and less mysterious. But the fact that the friendship is still there more than makes up for the loss of youth. Although I will admit that I still listen to the occasional Iron Maiden song.

Scott’s one of the few people who stops by the site who knows me in “real life.” I think he’d tell you that what you see here is pretty much what you get, urinal cake photography and all. Anyway, this one’s for you, man:

Posted by Chris at 10:18 AM | Comments (2)

January 14, 2004

New Addition

Around the age of six or seven, I decided that, more than anything in the world, I wanted to play the piano. My parents gladly complied - their only mistake was actually buying instead of renting a piano. I played that thing to death only stopping when my parents actually got me a piano teacher. Put structure to something and I'm outta there. Once they gave up on the idea, I started to play again. When we moved from Houston in 1989, we sold the piano.

A few months back, my in-laws began redecorating their house and kindly donated their piano to us. Meet the new member of the family!

Posted by Chris at 05:21 PM | Comments (18)

Sometimes Its The Little Things

Its a red-letter day here at the office and not just because its hump day. Yep...new urinal cakes have arrived!!

Posted by Chris at 12:32 PM | Comments (26)

The Joys of Hump Day

Embarrassing moments from the last 24 hours you'd see if I had my own reality TV show:

1. Just a little while ago, my tie got caught on my keyboard tray. When I backed up in my chair, tensile strength of my neckwear previously unknown, my head was snapped forward and my forehead smacked right into the keyboard. It made me type 'mnvksd."

2. This morning, after completely dressing myself, brushing my teeth and tying my tie, I discovered that a shirt cuff button was missing. This forced me to do the 'crap-I'm-fully-dressed-and-now-I-have-to-find-a-new-shirt' dance of frustration which consisted of jumping up and down and silently cursing the name Brooks Brothers.

3. What I'm calling my Jessica Simpson Does Math moment of the morning: 30% of 138 is what? How do you do that? Yes, I eventually figured it out. And I didn't even use my fingers.

4. My end of a conversation held before the injestion of any coffee. It went something like this:

-"Good morning to you."
- "Fine. How are you?"
- "Yes, I see exactly what you're going for."
- "No, you completely lost me. I have no idea what you're going for."
- "Who is this again?"
- "I like ducks."
- "Oh I see."
- "Nope, no clue what you're talking about."
- "Who brought up ducks? Wasn't me."
- "Who is this again?"
- "I'm confused. Could you start over again?"
- "I don't know what you're rambling on about but you seem to have a bizarre fascination with ducks."
- "Hello?"

5. While the convenience would be unmatched, the orange juice does not belong in the cabinet with the glasses. Nor do the Pop Tarts go in the fridge. I've attempted both. I've learned.

Happy Hump Day! It's gotta get better, right? Please?

Posted by Chris at 11:25 AM | Comments (20)

January 13, 2004

Stratocaster, Take Me Away

Everyone has something they do after a rough day, when they're stressed or just worn out. This is mine...

Posted by Chris at 04:29 PM | Comments (11)

I Need Another 12-Step Program

One of Mac's recent posts has forced me to admit something. I don't find this easy to do but let me get it out...

I love watching home shopping channels. There. I said it. Now, let me explain.

When I was a kid, we'd do the slumber party thing. One of our favorite things to do - being 11 and all - was calling HSN. Conversations would generally go something like this:

HSN: Hello and welcome to HSN. What product are you calling about tonight?
Us: The Bronte Sisters porcelain doll collection.
HSN: And how many items would you like?
Us: Well, we have a question first.
HSN: Yes sir?
Us: Do they come with a free sledgehammer?
HSN: Excuse me sir?
Us: Do they come with a free sledgehammer?
HSN: Um, no.
Us: Well then we're not really that interested. Thank you.

In those days, you used to be able to sign up, get a member name and have stuff shipped before payments were due. There were people all over Houston getting the Bronte Sisters porcelain collections.

Now, to the present day. I don't actually buy anything. No diamondoid jewelry, no four billion thread-count sheets with matching comforters, no Vac-U-Suck industrial strength vacuum cleaners. In fact, I've never actually bought anything ordered off the television. But you need to realize the pure entertainment value in people hocking things on TV. Its live. They screw up. Its funny!

Never let anyone tell you that all home shopping channels are created equal. There's QVC which is pretty much the Neiman Marcus of the home shopping world. And frankly, that's a little high-class for me. Then there's the Home Shopping Network which is more my speed. They frequently have Suzanne Somers on selling her stuff (from food to jewelry, she does it all) and that makes for some good TV - without fail, Suzanne and the host make some vaguely dirty comment and proceed to laugh and snort in front of the camera for ten minute stretches. My absolute favorite, however, has to be ACN.

ACN is perhaps the worst thing on TV and for that, I love it. The fact that they sell nothing but jewelry shouldn't be held against it either - what they lack in variety they make up for in quality. And I'm not sure how they got into the Liberace estate and made off with so much jewelry but you don't ask questions about these things. ACN is so technologically advanced, the host often answers the phone banks. Of course, we can't hear the callers, just the host's side of the conversation. And the markdowns? Just the other night an $800 ring was marked down to $149. Amazing!

I don't want to come off sounding like a snob. There are good things to be bought from these things, I'm sure. My grandmothers are both firm believers in the power and convenience of HSN and QVC. How else would my parents have gotten that "Tiffany-style" lamp as a gift this Christmas? But don't forget, this is good TV too!

Posted by Chris at 08:47 AM | Comments (13)

January 12, 2004

No, I'm Not Compulsive!

I've talked to a lot of people about books lately. I always mention that I have quite a few on the shelf I haven't managed to get through. Perhaps I downplayed that a bit. Judge for yourself...

UPDATE: Just to clarify (as scary as this may be), these are the one's I haven't read. There are more, chock full of books I've made it through.

Posted by Chris at 05:19 PM | Comments (22)

Blog It Forward

Its Blog It Forward day and I've got a couple blogs I'd like to give a shout out to.

Zandria is extremely awesome and uber-cute as well (not that that has anything to do with her blogging ability - just thought I'd share). She and I have traded a lot of email over the past couple months and I've very much appreciated getting to know her.

Liz is also a truly awesome blogger. I originally started reading her months ago but, probably due to The Great Blog Crash of 2003, I lost touch. Luckily, she dropped me a line not long ago and I was thrilled to rediscover her!

Yes...there are many others I wholeheartedly recommend. They're all over there on the right (-->) so take a peek and discover a few new blogs today.

Posted by Chris at 10:43 AM | Comments (4)

Haiku for Monday #12

Sleep eluded me
Awake and checking the clock
The whole freaking night

Posted by Chris at 08:03 AM | Comments (10)

January 11, 2004


I have fond memories of the neighborhood I grew up in in Houston. It was a dead-end road so we could play in the streets without too much of an interruption. We'd climb the trees or break out our bikes or capture rogue lizards. My parents knew everyone on the block - hell, everyone knew everyone else. There were fences but little regard for them. Everyone's pool was fair game in the summer, everyone's front yard open for a football game in the fall and winter. There were parties, cookouts and yard sales. When a hurricane rolled through town, everyone would help board up the windows. And in the eye of the storm, we'd all come outside just to make sure everyone else was okay.

Sure, there were some neighbors who were less than ideal. Like the kid who almost killed me with an arrow. Or the girl who did the "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" routine and immediately went and told her mom. But isn't all that alot better than what seems to be the norm now?

Experience tells me that fewer of you probably know your neighbors than your parents did. The question is why? Are people not as friendly now? Do people just avoid taking the time to know one another? Or are people just scared?

Posted by Chris at 05:28 PM | Comments (13)

January 10, 2004

Big Fish

I've just seen Big Fish. I can't recommend a better way for you to spend your Saturday or Sunday. Its tough for me to recall a more wonderful movie...

Enjoy your Saturday!

Posted by Chris at 04:30 PM | Comments (8)

January 09, 2004

It's Friday!

Just in case you didn't know, its Friday!! Just some thoughts for the end of the week...

- When a former coach returns to a football team in dire need of help, its nice. But its not the second coming of Christ. Did we really need to see three hours of live coverage on the local news?

- I made a "to do" list at the beginning of the week...and I've crossed EVERYTHING off. And I am still smoke free. How cool is that?

- I realized last night that I can pretty much jam all the way through Our Lady Peace's "Happiness Is..." album. I feel really sorry for my neighbors.

Posted by Chris at 07:25 AM | Comments (20)

This Is Your Brain On Snow

There's about a quarter inch of snow on the ground. During the 15 miles I spent on one particular roadway I witnessed 6 accidents. The average speed of traffic was somewhere around 30 mph. I'm confused - did everyone forget how to drive overnight or was there a blizzard out there that I, for some odd reason, didn't see?

Posted by Chris at 07:04 AM | Comments (8)

January 08, 2004

Ideas? And Comments

Since my lame "Dress Me" thing (results below) seems to have worked out, let me know if you have some brilliant ideas for the next round.

Also, I posted back in mid-December about Dee leaving my 666th comment. Between then and now, I've received over 400 comments! I've said it before, but I'll say it again...you guys are truly awesome!

Posted by Chris at 09:21 AM | Comments (10)

January 07, 2004


Yes, just when you thought it couldn't get any cheesier, here's the proof you've been asking for. Thanks again for voting :-)

Posted by Chris at 04:16 PM | Comments (24)

Its Anarchy, I Tell You

People seem to labor under the misapprehension that the Internet is some tangible thing - something you could put your arms around or unplug and put in a box. This mistake was most recently demonstrated when a regulation was enforced allowing providers to block access to sites which may feature children in compromising positions. Fine. All well and good. Who's going to argue? Well, the people who had their access to thousands of innocent sites, perhaps.

While discussions about Internet taxation, online privacy and protection of children, and file-sharing abound, does anyone just not understand that this is an unregulatable beast? And maybe that's some of the appeal.

Still think it can be regulated? Really?

Quick Facts:

  • It was estimated that, by the end of 2003, 10 million American homes would be networked;
  • There are currently in excess of 800 million Web pages with thousands added daily;
  • 6.4 million people signed up for high-speed Internet service in 2003;
  • Online content pulled in $1.3 billion during 2003;
  • Throughout the next five years, worldwide Internet traffic will double annually.

Posted by Chris at 12:38 PM | Comments (9)

How Cold Is It?

Its colder that a witch's tit out there! Charlene agrees...in fact she brought up an interesting point: where did that phrase come from? I've done a little digging and came up with the following from The Straight Dope:

...witch's tit (or witch's teat, to use the older spelling) supposedly left a marking that witch hunters and courts would look for on the body of an accused person. Supposedly, witches would suckle their familiars, and sometimes the Devil himself, from this "unholy" body part. To find these marks, as well as insensitive spots on the skin called devil's marks--caused by the Devil's claws or teeth--the suspects were stripped, shaven, then closely examined for any blemishes, moles, or even scars that could be labeled as diabolical. To find marks invisible to the eye, the examiner would poke the victim inch by inch with a blunt needle (called a bodkin) until they found a spot that didn't feel pain or bled. Discovery of these marks or spots--one supposes they would be considered cold since they were a sign of communion with the Devil--would be "proof" of the person's dealings with Scratch, so they would be shown in full court before the execution.

Learn something new everyday, huh?

Posted by Chris at 08:53 AM | Comments (15)

January 06, 2004

The Winning Pair

Thanks to all who voted in my extremely lame "Dress The Blogger" thing. The votes have been counted and, by a narrow margin, the winner is the Shirt B/Tie A combination. Despite the fact that Kristi maintains I'll look like a Young Republican - a thought that terrifies me to no end - that's what I'll be going with. Shirt C/Tie C came in a close second. No hanging chads, I promise.

Thanks for taking one minor decision off my hands tonight. Proof tomorrow afternoon.

Posted by Chris at 05:47 PM | Comments (7)

Meaty Bite-Size Chunks of Blogging Goodness

Little blogging money-shots for Tuesday:

Caffeine enthusiasts will be happy to know that drinking more than six cups of coffee per day will lower their chances of getting type 2 diabetes. Woohoo! No diabetes for me!

No surprise - Brittney's marriage was annulled. What's funny is that Nevada's a community property state. This Jason dude is actually entitled to half of the bling Brittney pulled in during their brief marriage. I'd love to see that happen.

You Really Got Me - The Kinks Ray Davies was shot in New Orleans. He's okay...he'll pull through. And I was just talking to my wife about how cool it would be to live in New Orleans. I guess not.

Ask Marie some questions! And don't forget to dress me!

Posted by Chris at 09:24 AM | Comments (8)

January 05, 2004

Dress Me: A Lame Attempt at Interactivity

What happens on boring days? I start thinking...and that's dangerous. A lame thought occurred to me while thinking of things to post. I get up every morning and am usually too tired to see straight much less dress myself. That's where you come in! Dress me!

Below you'll see 6 choices - three shirts and three ties. Choose my attire for Wednesday so I don't have to! I'll wear the most popular combination.

I know this is uber-lame and could very well be the dumbest thing in blogging history...but its about as good as it gets on a Monday.

UPDATE: I will be wearing pants! I have a vast array of satisfactory pant-wear from which to choose that will accentuate your selection. Do not worry. That said, really the picture for Tie C is kinda off. Its really silver and blue. The rest of the pictures are pretty accurate.

Posted by Chris at 06:28 PM | Comments (25)

Monday: An Observation

Is it me or is Monday sucking the life out of everyone? I haven't run into a single person today who is actually full of life, motivated, awake. I'm fully convinced that people either received full-frontal lobotomies for Christmas...that or everyone did an extraordinary amount of drinking over the holidays!

Posted by Chris at 04:38 PM | Comments (9)

Haiku for Monday #11

Holidays over
All are returning to work
At least physically

Posted by Chris at 07:30 AM | Comments (9)

January 04, 2004

Sunday School

Lessons learned on a Sunday:

#1: Coupling (the British version) is the funniest thing on TV.
#2: I'm impatient. Especially in the grocery store. Does the fact that I wanted to knock over all the old ladies traveling approximately one aisle/hour make me a bad person?
#3: For some reason, a freshly un-decorated house looks so sparse.
#4: Brittney got married but NOT to George from Seinfeld.
#5: When you talk in your sleep, sometimes your wife is actually paying attention.

Posted by Chris at 02:23 PM | Comments (21)

January 02, 2004

Why I Don't Take Days Off

Whenever I take a random day off work without any real purpose, I'm always reminded why I don't do this a lot - I get nothing done! There are about a million un-fun things I could be doing now but I certainly don't want to do un-fun things on my day off, do I? No. So how about the fun things? So far today I've:

- Continued reading one book;
- Started a second book;
- Run to Best Buy for something for my new TV;
- Hooked up my new TV;
- Gotten all of my ties and other random crap out of my car;
- Blogged a bit;
- Answered email;
- Watched some TV; and
- Listened to some tunes.

but I haven't been able to actually do any of these things for more than five minutes at a stretch. What a pain in the ass I can be. At least I haven't smoked.

Posted by Chris at 03:19 PM | Comments (10)

New Year's Recap

NYE was a pretty quiet affair at the Rude Cactus home. Beth and I went out to eat at one of our favorite local Thai places then came home and settled in with a movie. Can you believe I made it through 31 years of life never having seen Fast Times at Ridgemont High? Me either! Then Dick did his thing with the ball in NYC but we were elsewhere.

2004 started off with a day of movies and shopping. We caught a couple of the New Year sales (if you must know, I managed to pick up a couple shirts for work), I finished off the book I was reading (White Noise by Don DeLillo) and we watched a funky little movie called Roger Dodger (overall, not bad despite the Blair Witch-like camera work).

Oh...and my new year's resolution? As some of you know, after 6 years I started smoking again around September. I really didn't want to be a smoker again (or - big picture here - kill myself) so I decided to be smoke-free in 2004. I started off the year by crushing the remaining cigarettes I had. So far, so good.

Once again, Happy New Year everyone!

Posted by Chris at 10:44 AM | Comments (20)