Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday Threesome for July 31st

This week's edition is brought to us by liscense agreements and The Back Porch.

Onesome: Terms-- of endearment: do you have any you particularly like to use? How about one others use that just grates on you ?
I have quickly come to realize just how much I had "Beloved" coming from a pastor. I kinda like Honey and Dear. Not that I have anyone to use them on.

Twosome: of-- the several types of access to the Internet, which one do you use? Dialup, DSL, Broadband, WiFi? Just how connected are you?
I think it's DSL, but I could be wrong on that.

Threesome: Use--less labels: seen any good ones lately? You know, the ones that were issued by the Department of Redundancy Department. ...or maybe by the Darwin Awards Review Committee. I'm thinking this crowd probably has some real winners...
The only one coming to mind is a warning label someone has in her signature at Jix. "Do not attempt to stop chain saw with hands." Well, duh!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


It used to be that summer was a dry spell as far as TV went. There was little or nothing of interest on between May and September. A few years I went through withdrawls, but in recent years, I've used the time to get some of my TV on DVD sets watched. Now, ironically, as I have started buying more sets than ever, there are more cool new shows on TV during the summer, making it harder and harder to play catch up.

And, to make matters worse, I've started watching two new shows this summer. In Plain Sight is okay but hasn't fully captured me yet.

However, I love The Middleman.

The shows follows the adventures of Wendy Watson. She's an artist who takes temp jobs to support herself. At one such job, an accident creates a monster. Just before she is attacked, The Middleman shows up and saves her. Impressed with her calm under pressure, he offers her a job.

Seems that monsters and aliens are a real part of life. And The Middleman and his secret organization (so secret he doesn't even know where stuff and money come from) fight against it and keep it hidden from the rest of the world.

The adventures are wacky and out there. And they are plenty of fun.

But it's the humor that wins me over. The show is wacky and out there. The dialogue is fast and furious, so you have to be paying attention to catch everything. The Middleman never swears, and some of his lines are outstanding as a result.

Then there's the issue of time. Every time they do a major scene change, they update us on the time. Sometimes, they play this straight. But sometimes they make it into a joke. There was one where the time was always in some random time zone. Then there was the one where we got such times as Breakfast Time, Snack Time, Nap Time, Prime Time, Commute Time....

The show mocks just about everything, making it an acquired taste. It takes itself seriously enough but not so seriously it ruins the fun.

It's on ABC Family on Monday nights. If you haven't yet, check it out.

This is my post for Watercooler Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What's on My Nightstand

So, I'm going to join a new monthly blog carnival (that starts today) called "What's on Your Nightstand." Basically, it's a chance to talk about books. It takes place on (or around) the last Tuesday of the Month. Sounds right up my alley. And if it is right up your alley as well, you can go here and check out the initial post.

I am currently just under half way through A Watery Grave by Joan Druett. I stumbled on it when I was returning a CD to the library last week. It's set on an exploritary voyage that the US sent to the southern hemisphere in 1838. And yes, it is a mystery (I read lots of those). In this case, a member of the company's wife died right before the expedition set out under mysterious circumstances. Yet the events seem to be following the crew on the first leg of their voyage.

I am quite intrigued by the story and can't wait to find out where it all goes. I like the main character who is half New Zealander and half American. And the ship board setting is a definite plus.

The author loves her sea history, and it shows. Unfortunately, it's also the only downfall for me. At times, she laspes into jargon I don't know what means. And there is no definition of the terms in the book. Additionally, these details occasionally slow down the story, like the chapter I read yesterday about firing canons. Maybe that will come into play, but for now it seemed out of place.

On the whole I am enjoying the book. It is the first in the series, and I can see myself getting another one from the library.

Also on my nightstand is It Happened on Knife, the second book set in a comedy theater and written by Jeffrey Cohen. It's been there all month. I'll either read it next or reread Romana the Pest.

If you wandered over here from 5 Minutes for Books, welcome. I happen to review books (and movies and music) at Amazon and Epinions. You can either follow the links on the right hand side of in this post.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Going Savage

So Friday was my first time going savage.

In all the years I've played Summer League ultimate Frisbee, I've never been on a team that had no subs show up. In fact, I've been on the team with five subs facing the team with zero subs. And I've always felt sorry for them. But Friday night was my turn.

I showed up only 10 minutes late (or 20 minutes early. The difference between official start time and when we really start). But I was the fourth person to show up. Slowly, three others showed up. And that was it. We had just barely the right ratio to play, too, since we had to have three women minimum.

The other team had three women subs and one male sub.

And we actually managed to hold our own pretty well. We traded points for the first five or so before we started falling behind. Then we had a late game rally. The lights went out, ending our game at 11-14. I don't think we would have come back and won if there had been time, but it was a nice way to go out.

Of course, we did get after each other quite a bit at times. I made a couple stupid mistakes. But what really got me was when we were playing zone offense and defense. One of the other guys kept telling me to do things I knew weren't right. When I got scored on, he started in on me about letting him know the last guy was taking off. Considering he had just told me to stick with him and I was behind him at the time, it's not exactly my fault.

But that's all behind me.

I had always wondered if I could play savage if I had to. The answer must be yes. Granted, I was tired and my legs and knees were killing me by the time we were done. But I did it! I think most of that is thanks to these work outs I've been doing. I'm in much better shape then I was a month ago even if I'm not in the same league as everyone else.

Our next game is tonight. Down in Venice. The unfortunate thing is I have a feeling it will be the exact same seven people we had on Friday. At least I know I can do this!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday Threesome for July 24th

This week's edition is brought to us by kids of all ages and The Back Porch.

Onesome: Toys--? Any new tech toys at your place? No? What would you like to have that is all sorts of "new and improved" and just hard to live without?
I'm still considering my cell phone and blue tooth head set a new toy. And I'm loving them.

Twosome: 'r-- you ready for school to be in session again? Good grief, it's only July, but the Back to School sales have been in place for a few weeks now. Do you have a trinket you're planning on buying for yourself or the kids for this next year?
I wouldn't call it a trinket, but I do plan to buy a Blu-Ray player in the next six months.

Threesome: Us--? Nah, nothing fancy going on on this blog space. How about you: any changes planned on your site in the upcoming months?
No changes planned, but I do hope to get my All Consumming lists to work right again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Confessions of a Church Shopper

So I think I've made a few references to it, but there is a major change going on in my life that I haven't talked too much about.

I am looking for a new church.

Believe me, that wasn't an easy decision to come to. I've been at my old church for 13 years. I have lots of friends there. In fact, that was driven home to me last weekend when I was there for the 50th anniversary party I mentioned. Yet this was a long time coming. Like a year. So, at the end of May I started seeing what else is out there.

The good news is God has blessed this valley with several solid churches.

The bad news is God has blessed this valley with several solid churches.

It is nice to live in an area where I have choices that are doctrinally sound and God honoring. I know lots of people who would love one church like that in their area.

Of course, it also makes my job harder. Remember, I am a very indecisive person. This Sunday I started a several week stint at a new church, and it was great. This is the third church I've tried, and I could see myself becoming involved in any of them. The worship is good at all of them, and the teaching is solid and challenging, something I wasn't getting at my old church.

I'm letting little things like adult Sunday School and singles groups stir my decision.

Of course, as I was discussing with one friend Sunday, it's hard to judge after only a few weeks. You don't really get to know anyone and you also don't see the internal politics. Of course, that second one can be a bonus. But the first is definitely hard. I mean in three weeks, you are always meeting new people.

I have one more church to go before I have to make a decision. At this point, I've only ruled one of the choices out. But the others are still very real possibilities. Time to start pleeding for wisdom.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Not Much to Report

This was a quiet weekend. Which was kinda nice. I was busy watching movies, but that was about all I did. Well, that and catching up on TV recorded earlier this week.

In fact, I started with the season premiers of Monk and Psych, both of which I enjoyed. I discovered recently that I am getting USA in HD and in HD it has an Eastern feed, which means I can start watching these shows three hours earlier than I could before. I am so thankful for that.

Saturday, I came over to the college and worked out. As a result, I didn't make it to Mamma Mia! like I had planned. But I still hit The Dark Knight. I wish it had been the other way around. The Dark Knight is just too dark and gruesome. I came out depressed. Frankly, I still don't think I'm completely over it yet. But more on that Wednesday.

Naturally, that called for some light counter point, so I watched Monsters, Inc. That is still a fun flick.

Sunday I spent quite a bit of time watching new episodes of The Middleman (love it) and In Plain Sight (one of the better episodes, until the end.) I also watched Picture This!, which is not worth your times. Originally, I was going to go play ultimate in Santa Monica, but I just didn't feel like it, so I did my laundry instead. I think I just needed a little down time.

See, I told you I really didn't have anything to report

Friday, July 18, 2008

Good Times

This has been a pretty good week for me. Especially Wednesday.

I am sticking with the workouts. And I think I am noticing some differences. Other than being extremely sore, that is. The problem I am having is that they take so stinking long. For example, it was 8PM by the time I got home last night. That's really cutting into my TV watching time. I still have episodes from Sunday I haven't watched yet. And being that far behind is putting pressure on me.

But back to Wednesday.

It started with meeting my two new roommates.

Josiah had e-mailed me on Monday and Anthony called me Tuesday. Both responding to my ad here at work. They both came over Wednesday, liked the place, and are set to move in at the end of the month. We all three met for the first time Wednesday, and it seemed to go well. Granted, it was brief. But nothing jumped out at me.

And they didn't run away screaming when they saw my DVD's and books. Or Joanne Fluke posters for that matter.

Then, we won our ultimate Frisbee game!!!

Even better, we started out ahead and never let the other team catch us. At half, it was 8-4. And we won 15-8.

They threw zone defence on us a couple times, and I wound up playing popper, a position I had never played before. And I did very well at it. Maybe all those years playing wing thinking how I'd play popper paid off.

Even better, I had a perfect game. Every time it was thrown to me, I caught it and passed in on successfully. With how poorly I'd been feeling about my performances to date, I really needed that.

Of course, overall the team was helped by having some of our fastest players back from vacation.

On the downside, two more women got hurt, neither by anyone from the other team. I think we're down to three women until our fourth comes back. That's discouraging.

And the date of the tournament might be changing. Just as I was beginning to make August plans around it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday Threesome for July 17th

This week's episode is brought to us by musicals and The Back Porch.

Onesome: Guys-- do the darnedest things, -right? What's the darnedest thing you've had a male acquaintance do that you just know a gal would never even think of? (Okay, girls, toilet seats do not count on this one !)
Continue on in some obnoxious behavior long after it is clearn that it is bothering their significant other/the rest of the group (depending on the size of the group).

Twosome: and-- to turn it around, what's the darnedest thing you've had a female acquaintance do that you just know a guy would never even think of? (Okay, guys, that hair-flip move doesn't count either...)
How about traveling to the bathroom in packs, then?

Threesome: Doll--ing yourself up? What is your idea of dress-up? Hmmm... Let's go with Summer wear for now!
During the summer, I wear jeans to work, so that's pretty dressed up, right? I do still wear Docker type pants to church. Other than that, it's shorts all the time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fun Weekend

Wow, what a fast, fun weekend this last one was.

I actually woke up early Saturday to drive across town for the workout for the day. On the way there, I concluded I had officially become insane. I woke up early on a Saturday when my entire body wanted me to sleep. And I did it so I could work out, when my entire body was sore. Yeah, that makes sense.

On the way home, I grabbed the newest VeggieTales DVD, and I'm glad, too. I just lay on the couch enjoying it for a while. And it is lots of fun. Want proof? Read my review of Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry's Big River Rescue.

From there, I did a little cleaning before meeting up with Konrad and Carol and assorted friends for an early dinner. Came home, read a little, then everyone came over for a game night. We wound up with a small crowd by the time it was over. We played Apples to Apples, which was quite fun.

Sunday afternoon, I headed to the movies to see Journey to the Center of the Earth. I really wish it was playing in a 3D theater near here, but it was certainly fun in 2D.

That evening, I headed to Santa Clarita Baptist for a 50th anniversary party for Kurt's grandparents. That was really fun.

Then it was back to the grind on Monday.

Actually, I didn't work out last night. My right shouler had been bothering me all day Sunday. It was doing better, but as soon as I tried to do a push up, it started up again. It's feeling better now, so hopefully I'll be good tonight.

In other news, I have two different guys coming to look at the condo tomorrow. Hopefully one or both of them will decide to move in and be a good fit.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fitness Can Take a Lot Out of You

This year, I've been pretty serious about getting into something remotely resembling shape. This spring, I was walking or running every day. And I've been pretty consistent about hitting the fitness center here at work three days a week.

This week, I took off in a different direction, however. I'd noticed a few people who seemed to be working out together every time I was in there. Finally, Monday I jumped into a conversation they were having with someone and invited myself to join them as well.

Let me tell you, these work outs are intense. If you'd like to see what we are doing, go here. I am so incredibly sore. I've already done today's workout. It was fast and easy. But I think I'm doing worse than I was earlier this week!

I've done four of the work outs this week. The only day I took off was Wednesday for my ultimate Frisbee game. If my body ever adjusts, I think I'll be happy.

Speaking of my game, we lost yet again. So I think we're officially below 50% now. We scored the first point, then fell way behind again. We did manage to come back in the second half and tie it up at 10's, but we let them score the next five points unanswered.

And we had a low turnout again. Four subs total all night. I hope we get the vacationers back soon.

On the plus side, I did score our final point. The one that tied it up. My first point so far this season. I hope it isn't my last.

My friends Konrad and Carol are in town this weekend. Haven't seen them since they moved to Colorado two years ago. Can't wait to see them again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday Threesome for July 10th

Today's Thursday Threesome if brought to us by government and The Back Porch.

Onesome: Filling-- the ol' fuel tank is getting to be real interesting lately... What are gas prices doing in your area this Summer?
$4.50 to $4.60 seems to be the going price for gas around here this summer. And that's for the cheap stuff.

Twosome: Out- and about and you're out of cash: the ATM or the store for a few bucks over on the check? Oh! ...and debit or credit? ...or are you a 'cash economy' person?
I'm not quite sure what a "cash economy" person is. Someone who hordes cash or someone who only uses cash? Personally, I carry some cash with me, but usually use my credit card to get cash back rewards. When I do need cash, I get it from the ATM.

Threesome: Forms-- can be a real pain! Do you have a 'favorite' you dislike even to think about? (...and no, the income tax forms are 'exempt' from this question !)
There was one form for benefits I used to have to fill out for the IRS that I hated filling out. I was glad when our insurance broker took over for me.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Sad Closing

Ask anyone who knows me well, and they'll tell you I love mysteries. The only real stretch into science fiction that took was Babylon 5. But that's not to say that I didn't watch Star Trek and enjoy it over the years. I'm just not fanatical about it.

But this week, I heard that Star Trek: The Experience is closing in September. And that makes me very sad.

I went back in 2004 when Matt and I were there campaigning before the election. We went after the end of a long day of walking and leaving literature all over neighborhoods. All I wanted to do was sit and rest. Fortunately, we had already bought tickets, so I felt we had to go. And I had a blast.

I wasn't too impressed with the museum part of things. But the rest was fun.

They had various actors walking around dressed as the aliens from the show. And they were perfect. They maintained the species character at all times. And it was a hoot interacting with them.

They had two rides. One is a simulator based on Next Generation. But it wasn't just a simulator. As part of the "ride" they took us to a replica of the Enterprise's bridge. Again, they employed real actors as well as videos of the stars from the show. And the simulator, once we got there, was pretty fun.

The other ride was actually a 3-d movie based on Voyager. Again, it had two of the actors on screen and lots of actors on the walk through parts. This one dealt with the borg, and it was downright freaky to me. Of course, I've always found the borg the scariest of the franchises villains.

I was disappointed I could go to the restaurant because it was closed for a private function.

I'm sure to Trekkies it was absolutely wonderful. But even this casual fan was impressed and had a good time. I hope that the stuff isn't destroyed and they figure out some place to open it again in the future because I wouldn't mind visiting again.

This is my entry for Watercooler Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Overdue Meme Answers

So, Stephen tagged me over a week ago. I really didn't intend to wait this long to repsond. Honest!

In an effort to keep it simple, short, and easy to follow, I’d like to challenge you to quote one verse (not one chapter). And then say what the Lord has been teaching you in one sentence (not one paragraph). Then tag 5 peeps (you know the drill).

Verse: Thou hast enclosed me behind and before, And laid Thy hand upon me. Psalm 139:5

Lesson: My trust, focus, hope, etc. needs to be on God not on man. (And you think I would have learned that by now.

Tagged: You!

That's right. If you've read this, I tagged you. Why am I so lazy? Because most of the people I could think of right off the bat to tag don't blog any more. And do leave me a comment if you do respond.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Nice Long Weekend

I thought the fact that my roommates are moving out might put a damper on my weekend, but it didn't. For one thing, I decided to ignore it and do what I had planned to do all along. That certainly helped.

Thursday was definitely a down day. In fact, I only left the house to do a quick grocery run and get Quiznos. I finished up the first season of Lois and Clark and watched a couple movies I had DVR'd in the last month. Still have lots more to go.

Friday, I spend the day with Kurt and Kellie and various friends and family. We had a BBQ at Kurt's parent's house. Then went swimming at Kellie's parent's. Joined up with Kenny and Katherine for dinner before heading out to the Kohl's/Whole Foods parking lot for fireworks. They were great but would have been better if they had turned the lights in the parking lot out.

Saturday, I went down to a signing for Rhys Bowen's latest book. Came home, swam, and watched another movie.

Sunday, I visited Faith Community for the second time. It was a good service, although the couple in front of my whispered the entire way through. Maybe she was translating? That was all I could figure since she did most of the whispering. Either way, it was ironic that it bothered me so much since it was a sermon on anger.

I was supposed to go to Santa Monica and play ultimate with a friend, but that fell through at the last minute, so I had a restful afternoon around the condo. I even did two loads of laundry.

So that was my fun and exciting weekend. Now back to the real world of year end work and roommate searches.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Word Association for July 6th

Really did intend to post some over the weekend. Oh well. So I'm going to do the word association to make up for it.

  1. Notification :: Letter
  2. Cheat :: Amazon voting
  3. Top Ten :: List
  4. Draft :: Rough
  5. Unbelievable :: Shocking
  6. Cheap :: Easy
  7. Spontaneous :: Combustion
  8. Harass :: Annoy
  9. Lipstick :: Red
  10. Transpire :: Event

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Thursday Threesome for July 3rd

This week's edition is brought to us by heat and The Back Porch.

Onesome: "Summer--time and the living is easy"... Are you taking it easy at all this Summer? ...or are you grinding along day by day with no "days off" planned?
Right now are my only days off. They gave us Thursday and Friday off for Independence Day. My next big vacation isn't coming until September. Of course, I already had the trip to Hawaii.

Twosome: in the- Onesome is the first line from a song that was taken from a lullaby. Yeah, how about that, Laurie! Do you recognize it or the play it is taken from?
I'm not Laurie, but I don't recognize it.

Threesome: City-- lights? Fireworks tomorrow for you? Do you have a local show to attend? ...or do you kick back with sparklers and and a fountain or two? Have a safe and fun 4th, gang!
I'm hoping to go to the local show tomorrow night. And I'll be hanging out with friends at some point during the day.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

WALL-E and the Enviroment

So Sunday night, I went to see WALL-E. And for those who know me, the only surprise is that I didn't see it sooner. I am a Pixar fanatic, afterall. And I enjoyed it. As I noted in my review, there is a strong enviromental theme, but it never stopped to preach. In fact, I thought it was very well done.

Today, I found out that a bunch of conservatives have major problems with the left wing propoganda of the film. Being a conservative, that really bothered me.

I can see why it might bother them. We are bombarded with reminders that the enviroment is in dire straights daily. Frankly, I think it isn't nearly as bad as the enviromentalists and the media make it out to be. So seeing a reminder of that in a film is rather unappealing.

But the opposite reaction is just as harmful. We can't ignor the enviroment just because it isn't as bad as some people claim it is. Saving the enviroment isn't everything. But neither is consumerism and commercialism. If we as humanity are to get anywhere, we must balance the two.

Unfortunately, balance is something that is seriously lacking in our day and age. If you disagree with me, you must be an idiot. Of course, you think I am an idiot for disagreeing with you. This flows all the way down from our leaders to the talking heads on TV. And it's all over the internet. People love to name call and shout down. But it does nothing toward finding compromises. And that's what we need today.

Take the blog I found these quote on. I found most of the quotes collected to be over the top. I assume it was on a left leaning blog. (I followed a link from somewhere else.) But the comments under the post were just as bad. They were name calling, twisting names of the people who originated the quotes, and dismissing them as nutjobs. Yeah, that's as mature as the initial comments.

Don't get me wrong, the message in WALL-E is strong. It shows a bleak future in a world that has been consummed by commercialism. But it also shows that the humans aren't happy living in complete luxury. And the ending is uplifting as it shows humans ability to learn from their mistakes.

If only we could sit down and learn from each other to find a compromise. Instead, we are trapped yelling at each other. We aren't moving forward and we aren't moving backward. We're stuck in place because no one can compromise.

And that's sadder than anything you'll see in the movies this summer.

This post has been part of this week's Watercooler Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy New (Fiscal) Year

I can't let a July 1st go by without my annual accountant joke. So hope you all had a happy new fiscal year last night!

Sunday, I got down to Santa Monica to play ultimate Frisbee on the beach. The tempurature was nice, but there was a strong and steady wind blowing the entire time. Frankly, it got a little frustrating because any time I tried to touch the disc, it got blown away from me or the person I was trying to throw it to.

On the plus side, the water was great afterward.

In other news, looks like I am back in the roommate market big time. One roommate had already told me he was moving out the end of July. He's got a new job based in another town. Last night, the other roommate told me he was moving out, too. So I am trying to figure out ways to scrimp and save money in case it takes me a while to find roommates. Not that I've ever gone more than a month without roommates before. But it is always scary looking down the pipe and seeing a huge chunk of my monthly income cut off. Some day I'll learn to trust God for all this stuff completely. I'd like to think I'm getting better, but it sure doesn't feel like it.