Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer League Update

I really haven't been posting much about Summer League.  Frankly, that's because I haven't been enjoying it.  Every game has been filled with tension, and we've lost like crazy.  The worst was our game a week and a half ago.

After that game, our captain sent out an e-mail message looking for ideas on how to turn things around.

Our game last week was on Thursday, and I almost didn't go.  I was tired from my first day on the temp job.  But I knew I needed to go.

And I had a blast.

We still lost, although it was only 12-15.  And we were playing the 2nd ranked team in the league.  (The week before, it was something like 6-15 against another team that hadn't won any game yet.)

But we had so much fun playing.  There was a positive spirit about the team.  And everyone was playing so well.  The offense was making some smart plays, and I saw lots of great D as well.

I even got the disc a few times and passed it on successfully.  I also made a couple of bad plays, but I actually felt like I was contributing instead of running on the field for no real reason.

We have this week off, for better or for worse.  (With all my USA shows on plus the Olympics, probably for the better).  Next week we play the first seed on Monday.  I just hope our positive energy continues.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Working - Temporarily

Last week was a whirlwind job wise.  Tuesday, I started out with an interview at an AccouTemps office.  Then I had a job interview here in town for a permanent full time job - a job I really, really want.  I'm praying hard that I will get it.

Meanwhile, I got a call from AccounTemps on Wednesday about a temporary job.  After much debating, I took it.  I'm working about half an hour away.  I started out helping them straighten out a bunch of notices from the government on reporting issues, but that's pretty much taken care of now.  Now I'm working on whatever they have for me.  I feel like they are keeping me on because they promised me more days than I've worked, but I'm taking it one day at a time.  I'm going back tomorrow, so we'll see what happens.

The worst part is I have to leave the house before 7 to get there on time.  I'm not used to being up before 7. This morning was the hardest, and I had slept hard, too.  But so far, I've made it on time every day.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for July 28th

Political Animals - Okay, so it's really just a family soap opera with a political background.  And yet I am hooked.  Hate the former President.  In fact, I find the younger son (the one engaged) to be the most sympathetic and honest character in the show.  The fact that he is turning on his mom is proof of it because he sees what her ambition is going to do to the family.

White Collar - I was so glad to see Mozzie come back.  And Peter's first shot of him was so funny, too.  The case was very good, too.  But is Peter going to be out of the dog house now?  That would be way too easy to get him back in White Collar, but how long can they keep him down there.

Covert Affairs - I was on the edge of my seat for that one.  I honestly thought Parker would wind up dying, but she didn't.  Even so, it was a nail bitter, especially when Auggie had to jump to the next roof.  And the show seems to be holding on to storylines better this year, so I am finding myself actually caring.  Also, figured out why the sister is a guest star - they are writing her out to try to work things out with her husband.  Can't argue with that and I must admit she's been rather out of things ever since she learned the truth.

Royal Pains - So, the other woman in Hank's love triangle isn't a doctor but a translator.  I don't know who to root for because I like them both.  I'm glad to see Divya working things out with her parents.  And how wonderful is Paige getting Evan to try to get the patient back?  My favorite scene of the show.  (Now, the question is did they get him back?)

Necessary Roughness - I figured out the cause of the kid's stuttering early on.  I like how TK was able to hold it together in court.  If only he'd show more maturity like that from week to week instead of just at the end of an episode.  But Matt and Dani breaking up was heartbreaking.  Although, I've got to say, I thought he was proposing awfully fast.

Melissa & Joey - Two stories actually mirroring each other for a change?  I loved it.  Plus they were both pretty funny.  Very predictable, but also very funny.

Burn Notice - I knew it.  I knew that's who they were going to kill off.  I have always loved Nate, so I am not remotely happy about it.  But at least Fi is out of prison and back with the rest of the gang where she belongs.  And of course, the question becomes, who killed Anson and why?  And speaking of why, why Nate?

Suits - The previews made it look like Harvey was going further off the reservation than that.  Yes, it was crazy, but it doesn't seem that far out of line for him.  It was an interesting breather in the current storyline of the suit the firm is facing, but I think next week looks very intense.

Wipeout - Two hours is way too much of the show.  By the time it was over, I had stopped caring.  And I may skip next week for the Olympics.

Common Law - The show is predictable, but it's still so much fun.  I loved seeing the guys interacting with their old mentors and how that caused stress this week.  The final scene was great, too.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Weekly Word Association for July 25th

Found here as always.

  1. Missing :: Found
  2. Crowded :: Party
  3. Questions :: Answers
  4. Flavored :: Coffee
  5. Need you :: to Leave
  6. Control :: Chaos
  7. Restaurant :: Hungry
  8. Scattered :: Tiles
  9. Family :: Love
  10. Regrets :: Many

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for July 21

I bet you didn't think I was going to get this posted today, did you?

Political Animals - I'm conflicted over this one.  At times I enjoyed it.  At times it seemed to be a big cliché.  Since it's a limited series, I'll probably keep going, but it hasn't grabbed me completely yet.  However, I loved seeing the Senator from Heroes as the President here considering he was on that path on the earlier show.

White Collar - A minor cliffhanger this time instead of a major one.  I honestly didn't see the "protector" being a fugitive as well.  That was an elaborate plan they used to take him down, but it worked, and that's all that matters.  I loved how they even got the girlfriend the reward money.  I knew she had to be in on it.

Covert Affairs - I was surprised by just how much Auggie wanting to propose got to me.  I mean, I really want him with Annie, but he seems so in love.  Yes, I knew the mission was going too well when it looked like they had everything 15 minutes in.  And they've downgraded the sister to guest starring role.  That's a surprise.

Wipeout (Tuesday) - Considering the rope wasn't long enough to get them into the whipped cream, the trap door on the first obstacle was just mean.  And I still don't think the rope second obstacle is hard enough.  Quite the contradiction, I know.

Royal Pains - They really need to stop giving us the final shot of the episode in the teaser.  I figured out early on that Hank on the helicopter would be how it ended, leaving us still in the dark about what Boris is up to.  Meanwhile, Paige and Evan working together could be funny or really painful to watch.  Or painfully funny.  I will say once again how much I love them together.  And I liked how they developed the new doctor.  I just hope that Divya gets to work things out with her father.

Necessary Roughness - I think that may be the most fun we've had with TK ever.  His plot with hazing the rookie was fun.  And I liked the main story as well.  I'm not happy that Dani's friend is back.  And Matt is moving way too fast if you ask me.  (And you did or you wouldn't be reading this.)

Melissa & Joey - Another one where their relationship gets in the way of their love lives.  Even so, the plot actually was pretty well done and funny.  And the sub-plot with Ryder and his almost two girlfriends was pretty good, too.

Burn Notice - So, I'm wondering if they are going to get Fi out in another couple episodes even before they've caught Anson.  It sure looks like it, which would make me very happy.  And I love how they don't have the client of the week but in a way they do.  We've still got the episodic stories but they are part of the bigger whole, which means Michael is much more willing to take them on.

Suits - Wow.  That was very high drama.  I wanted to cry with Donna as she was fired at the end.  I felt for all the characters and understood why they did what they did.  And I liked Mike at the end.  He's becoming a little Harvey but with more human feelings.  But it looks like we'll see Harvey's feelings next week.

Wipeout (Thursday) - Now we're going to admit that Vanessa is pregnant?  It was more obvious in other shows.  Probably something about the order they filmed them in yet again.  It's always so obvious they film stuff in a very different order than they show it to us.

Common Law - I know I normally complain about the mystery, but I didn't see the big twist coming on this one.  And the two of them as roommates?  Very, very funny.  A great episode.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Word Association for July 18th

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Favorite program :: White Collar
  2. Wedding :: Marriage
  3. Dance :: Ballroom
  4. Single :: Married
  5. Toward :: Away
  6. Hypnotize :: Chicken
  7. Limited :: Edition
  8. Social :: Media
  9. Barn :: Raising
  10. Hurt :: Heal

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Disneyland

57 years old.  And still so completely magical.

Yeah, I know I don't post these every year, but I was seriously thinking about going down there today.  It just didn't work out, so I had to be content with having been there on Saturday.

I went down for a book signing.  Yes, at Disneyland.  Archivist Dave Smith was signing his latest trivia book.      It was from 9 to 11, so I headed down there first thing in the morning.  I wasn't sure how popular it was going to be (you had to buy admission to the park or have a pass after all), and it turned out to not be that bad at all.  I had my signed books and was out the door before 9:30.

So, naturally, I hung out in the park for a few hours.  Hit Space Mountain with only a 20 minute wait.  Got a Fast Pass for Star Tours.  Then I rode the train around the park and Small World.  I was trying to take some pictures, although they turned out to be uneven.  It's hard when you take a picture without a flash.  Finally, I hit the Voices of Liberty concert before a showing of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.  The crowds were getting bad, so I left about 1.

I know, I know.  I left long before they closed.

Of course, I also wanted to head to Hallmark stores since it was ornament premier.  Yes, I was bad and bought ornaments.  But I did have fun.  Now to avoid buying too many more right away until I have a job.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for July 14th

White Collar - Yep, the cliffhangers are starting already.  I saw this one coming, but I that didn't make it any easier.  It's obvious where they are going with this - back to New York with the anklet on.  But still, how are Peter and Moz going to get Neal back there?  In other news, how cool was it that Jones is now officially part of the cast instead of guest starring in every single episode?  I'm thrilled.

Covert Affairs - They killed Jai?  I'm actually surprised by that, or I was at first since really they never quite knew what to do with him.  And having Nina Myers as Annie's new boss at the CIA?  Are we really ever supposed to trust her?  It looks like they set up some new storylines and didn't really resolve anything this week.  I'll be interested to see how next week's episode ties in.

Royal Pains - So what is Boris up to this time?  It's been a while since gave us a good mystery, and I'm really intrigued.  Paige is such a great addition to the show, I'm glad she's around for the different side of Evan she brings out.  And are Hank and Evan both growing up a little?  I think so, and if so I like it.

Necessary Roughness - TK is addicted to pain meds?  I didn't see that coming, although it's not that big a surprise really.  It's something that fits.  I hope that the kids and Matt start to get along better, although it made a funny episode this week.

Melissa & Joey - Just an average episode all the way around.  Some funny lines, but not really anything worth thinking about much.

Burn Notice - So, is Rebecca a new ally or will this come back to bite them.  I had forgotten we'd learned about her brother until Sam brought it up again at the end.  Obvious way out, but I think it has some very good potential for new story telling in the weeks to come.

Suits - I like how they are making Louis more rounded this season.  We still don't like him, but there's more to him than there was before.  I was surprised they left the case of fraud open for another episode.  I think I looked the same as Donna did when she found that memo with her signature on it.  That's going to be very interesting next week.

Tron: Uprising - That one didn't grab me nearly as much as some of the others have.  It was okay, but it was like they were just marking time.

Wipeout - That second obstacles is just too easy for them.  Yeah, I know everyone fell off, but I thought it would be harder.  I really was expecting the Hobbit to win since he was winning every round, but just shows how one obstacle can throw you off your game.

Common Law - I wasn't expecting the killer in this one to be a cop.  That was actually a pretty decent mystery, at least for this show.  But the bits with the dog back and forth were so funny, especially what Travis had to do since he palmed the dog off that first night.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What I Read in June

All ratings are on a scale from 1 (bad) to 5 (great).

SHADOWS ON THE SAND by Gayle Roper - 4
Just as Carrie and Greg might be ready to start a relationship, danger comes to their resort town.  First the dishwasher in Carrie's restaurant is murdered, then her waitress starts acting strangely.  What's going on?  This is more romantic suspense than a true mystery, but I found the story compelling and the climax very suspenseful.

SWIFT JUSTICE by Laura DiSilverio - 5
When PI Charlie Swift is saddled with a new partner, she does everything she can to get this new woman to quit the business.  Meanwhile, she has to track down the missing mother of a baby.  The book has an odd combination of humorous and serious, but it really works.  I liked the characters and can't wait to visit them again.

ECHOES OF TITANIC by Mindy Starns Clark - 3
Kelsey Tate is blindsided when someone accuses her great-grandmother, a Titanic survivor, of being an impostor.  As her world spins out of control, can Kelsey learn the truth in order to save her family's firm?  While normally I find the author hard to put down, this one took quite a while to get going.  The characters were good and the second half strong, but the first half wasn't up to par.

When the mayor of St. Carnard steps down, Darkwing enters the race to take his place.  But someone is out to make sure that Darkwing does down.  This was another fun entry in the comic book spins off from the 90's cartoon show.  Fans will love it while the rest may not appreciate it as much.  I'm a fan, so I loved it.

Writer Cassie and police detective James have been dating for two months, and Cassie has decided it is time to meet James' father, a man he hasn't talked to much since he was kicked off the force for being a corrupt cop years ago.  But when a body is found and James' father had ties to the victim, Cassie steps in to find out what is really happening.  I love these characters, and they are great to spent time around.  The plot is a bit slow at first, but it picks up as it goes a long.  Lots of fun overall.

MR. MONK IS A MESS by Lee Goldberg - 5
Monk and Natalie return from New Jersey to find a dead woman in Natalie's bathtub.  Then Monk's brother wants them to track down his missing girlfriend.  Can they do it?  As always, the plots are fun and really take advantage of Monk's abilities.  However, it's what Lee does with the characters that really makes them shine.  It's an outgrowth of the last few books and is what I am going to miss most after the last one of these comes out next year.

THE CAT WHO TALKED TURKEY by Lilian Jackson Braun - 2
It's the beginning of summer, and things are hoping in Pickax County.  They are breaking ground for a new bookstore and the town of Brrr is celebrating 200 years.  Oh yeah, and a body is found on Qwill's property.  But since none of the characters seem to care about that, the mystery kind of whimpers along.  If you love the characters, you'll enjoy the book, but there's hardly any plot.  Par for the course for the later books of the series.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Word Association for July 11th

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Purple :: People Eaters
  2. Staying power :: Popular
  3. Human :: Greed
  4. Garden :: Flower
  5. Missing :: Person
  6. Sucked :: Bad
  7. Next door :: Neighbor
  8. Poker :: Game
  9. Strategy :: Risk
  10. Crushed :: Disappointed

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Camping with the Family

If you noticed, I wasn't around much last week.  That's because I was beyond the reach of technology.  I headed up to visit my family.  No, no, they have internet.  But we all went camping together at a state park, and it had no internet or cell phone reception.  Honestly, I didn't mind that much.  Every so often, it's nice to take a bit of time off from technology.

Plus we were camping in the redwoods at a favorite spot we've been camping at as a family for years.  I hadn't been for a couple myself, so it was good to be back.

The weather was perfect.  A bit chilly at night, but upper 70's during the day.  I loved it.

And when I say my family, I do mean everyone.  It was a chance to try out Mom and Dad's new trailer, and my brother, sister-in-law, and niece came along as well.  That meant I got to sleep on the couch that folds into a bed.  I was in the middle of the trailer with no permanent place to put anything, but it worked.

We went on a couple of hikes a day and played lots of games.  I never came in last on Spiral Down, and I even won a game.  We got apple pies from a nearby fruit stand two nights.  Man are they delicious.

And I got to see my niece!  Yes, she's still incredibly cute.  And yes, she still loves her Uncle Mark very much, a feeling that is mutual.

All told, we had a great time.  My brother and I left early - he had to go back to work, and I had to come back to be ready for Tough Mudder.  That made a long day driving down.  But overall, the trip was well worth taking.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Tough Mudder - Conquered!

Saturday I finally got a chance to try my feet at Tough Mudder.  And I did it!  But boy was it harder than expected.

It probably didn't help that I was only operating on one hour of sleep.  We were getting up at 5AM, and I, between wanting to get some sleep and being pumped at the idea that it was finally time to do it, I couldn't get my mind to calm down.  That was coming off of a couple nights of poor sleep I was hoping would knock me out enough to sleep that night.  Obviously, that didn't work.  As a result, Chris (the friend I did this with) wound up driving instead of me.  It was a trek up there, and we almost didn't get a place to park (the overflow parking was a was away).  But they found some more spots and we were okay.

That means we left on time for our 9:20 wave.  Of course, first, we had to get over a wall.  That's right, the first obstacle was before the start line.

And finally we were off and running.  And right off the bat, we were running up hill.  Frankly, that should have been a sign.  We were also huffing and buffing since we were starting around 5500 feet.

See, the course was at a ski resort, and boy was that obvious.  For the entire 10 miles, we were up and down hills.  Level parts of the path were a rarity.  Instead, we were up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down.  People started talking about how "that was the last hill" only to have another show up and surprise them.  It actually got to be pretty funny - that is if we didn't have to go up and down the hills.

The first obstacle we hit was "Arctic Enema," which was basically an ice bath.  And they were keeping it very cold.  That was the coldest we got the entire time and much colder than I expected it to be.  As Chris said, it was hard to breath, and that was before we dunked under the wall.

The mud was a bit disappointing.  A) there wasn't that much of it.  B), it was very watery.  Heck, the "Mud Mile" was just a couple of muddy spots we could get through very quickly.  The walls, on the other hand, were high.  The first set we hit on the course was higher than the one we had to get over at the starting line.  (That one has lulled me into a false sense of security, BTW.  I thought I'd be fine, but these were definitely bigger).  We hit walls again in the second half, and they were bigger still.  I decided to skip them because I was afraid of landing wrong and hurting my knees worse than they already were.  But maybe I was letting my fear of heights talk me out of trying.

I also skipped both of the electric obstacles.  Chris said the electric eel, where you crawl through mud and they zap you, wasn't that bad.  But he was knocked over by a shock on Electroshock Therapy.

Despite my fear of heights, I really enjoyed jumping to the water.  It felt cool and refreshing.  It was a big leap, but I made it and did fine swimming out to the other side.

At the peak, we climbed to 6600 feet, once even carrying a log (which was a much longer part of the course than I thought it would be).  The views were amazing, but boy was I tired of climbing when we got there.  The one that got us to the summit was especially steep and not much fun.

I didn't do well on the monkey bars, but I never do.  I was surprised that I actually made it to the second ring on that obstacle before I fell in.  And I didn't try more than once on Everest because I knew I didn't have the speed to get high enough up the wall for someone to grab my hand and pull me up.  So yes, I didn't go well on a few of the obstacles.

But I made it through all 10 miles.  As Chris said, it was more a hike with obstacles than a real run.  I tried, but it was just too much up and down, and I didn't want to fall and get hurt going down, so I took that very slowly.  Chris was very patient waiting for me.  It took 4 hours and 45 minutes, but we finally crossed the finish line.

While it was close to 100 degrees here at home, it reached 80 by the time we were done.  Couple that with the dry conditions, and I inhaled and swallowed a lot of dust.  In fact, I was more dusty than muddy at the end.  It was hot, but that's better than too cold last year.

Now that I've done it, I can knock it off my list of things to do.  If I ever talk about trying it again, please slap some sense into me.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Weekly TV Recap for July 7th

Burn Notice - I'm with Sam, I miss Fi as part of the team.  I find her time in jail interesting, but I really, really want her to join the rest of the team on the outside soon.  Of course, if it means more Nate, that's ok since I've always liked his character.  Pierce got some great stuff, too.  And that scene between Michael and Fi at the end was wonderfully heartbreaking.

Suits - The strike storyline was okay, but I found the other stuff much more interesting.  I liked seeing a good side to Louise.  And his comment at the end to Jessica was good and right on, even if I usually find him oily.  Hardman is making things very interesting around the firm.  And Rachel and Mike took an interesting twist as well.  I hope she does well on the test this time.

Tron: Uprising - They actually had Tron be a big part of the episode.  Beck losing his memory was probably the best storyline they've done to date.  Really interesting and exciting.

Wipeout - I was rooting for the band geek, but he just couldn't get it together at the end of round three.  Really liked some of the new obstacles.  I'll definitely keep it going for now.

Common Law - The mystery was pretty good.  I did finger the sister early on, but I wasn't sure how it had been done.  As always, the comedy was just wonderful.  It's why I keep coming back to this show more than the mysteries.

Tron: Uprising - So Paige gets a back story.  Interesting.  I wonder how long it will be before she learns the truth about which side she is on and what happened to her friends or what Beck was really up to.  The series starts out slowly, but it does seem to be building as it goes along.

Wipeout - I'm not too surprised that the men dominated the women in the Armed Forces addition.  You've got the best men in the best physical fitness shape.  The women are no slouches, but they just can't compete.  I'm shocked the one guy gave up.  I might be slow, but I don't think I'd quit.  Then again, that Wipeout zone was tough!  The second round seemed a little too easy, but the last one more than made up for it.

New TV on DVD Reviews:

Friday, July 06, 2012

Word Association for July 6th

Here's this week's word association.

  1. Cycle :: Spin
  2. Pimple :: Teenager
  3. Tailspin :: Baloo
  4. Contact :: First
  5. Prepaid :: Telephone
  6. Tremors :: Earthquake
  7. Disgusting :: Sick
  8. Instrumental :: Interlude
  9. Taken :: Kidnapped
  10. Forward :: March