Friday, September 18, 2009

Ah September

September. From septimus or seventh. This would make September the seventh month only if you've been drinking enough fermented grape juice. Or if someone callously added months and changed it's position without changing it's name but that would be both stupid for all of us and cruel to September.

Things we look forward to in September? New tv shows on the idiot box, some of them worth a view, most too stupid to bother with. More dumbing down to the LCD (lowest common denominator, not liquid crystal display for you YWS - young whipper snappers). Kathy is most excited about The Amazing Race of course, as far as tv goes. But it's safe to say she's more excited that Skyler and Clarisa will be moving in for awhile as Skyler goes thru police academy. A good movie so a good career choice. I'm looking forward to cooler weather even though it was a mild summer thanks to global warming. Did you know I have a separate blog about global warming? It's true - the blog that is, not global warming which is demonstrably not true.

Monday, August 24, 2009

All about August

August, named for Caesar Augustus. Supposedly when the month was re-named for him they stole a day from February to make August longer. Untrue if you believe Wikipedia, but amusing. Don't you just love useless trivia? And I question everything on Wikipedia so I'm still open to the idea of a dead Roman stealing days to feed his own ego. After all he was a politician.

Ben is married. There, I said it. It was very fun to meet all of Natalie's family in situ, and it was quite a party. And the drive is so interesting with it's changing vistas of endless sage and scrub. I'm tired after 10 hours of sleep and still only semi-coherent (some would say it's hard to tell). I hope he and Natalie are having a nice* honeymoon *(I discarded several other adjectives before deciding on nice).

I'm still over Warcraft and the pending expansion doesn't thrill or tempt me. I'm back to my old tried and true games, Age of Empires 2 + expansion, Age of Mythology + expansion, and Master of Orion 2. Even though some are well over 10 years old they're still funner than most of the current stuff and they have the added advantage of my having mastered them back when I was smart. I just don't have the brain cells to learn a complex new game and probably never will. If you haven't played them and like real-time strategy games you should try them. MOO2 isn't an RTS but a fun turn-based space strategy game.

Gun show next month. I might trade/sell my sweet little Bersa .380 for something in a 9mm, since ammo is still impossible to find in .380. Maybe a nice Kel-Tec PF9, smaller than my Bersa and lighter, too, but quite a bit more formidable. I'm also looking at shotguns, probably a Mossberg 500 in 20 gauge, something Kathy can use without hurting her shoulder. With the right ammo it's as effective as a 12 gauge but less likely to over-penetrate and exit the house. It will be a home defense weapon but I'd like to shoot clays with it and maybe some birds eventually. Any practice is good.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Things and stuff for June & July

June was named for Juno, a Roman goddess stolen borrowed from the Greek's Hera. July was named for Julius Caesar. Did you know that already?

In June we went to Park City which was fun. Days lounging by the pool (or in it), reading five new books (from the Repairman Jack series), and visiting. Other things happened that month I'm sure, but I don't remember what they were. Probably less fun than Park City.

In July we came home from Park City and spent Independence Day lighting fireworks at Bob & Marilyn's and seeing whether Skyler lost any fingers. We saw Ice Age 3D and it was good, maybe not as good as the first two but still better than average which is enough. Scrat was only so-so and he's usually the best part of the movie. We've also recently seen Up!, The Proposal, and Night at the Museum 2. What I'd like to see are The Stoning of Soraya M and The Hurt Locker, both look great but they're in limited release.

No movies this weekend since we're going to the Mayberry family party. Not for tubing but just to hang out and visit. Next weekend will be Harry Potter #6 and seeing Dumbledore die gives me reason to go on.

Still no ammo so I still haven't even tried out my cute little Bersa .380 semi-auto handgun. I may buy a shotgun for home defense instead since it seems there are plenty of shotgun shells in the stores and they're fairly simple to reload. I found a nice little machete at Wal-Mart that should be handy during the Zombie Apocalypse, it even has a case with a safety feature. Into the 72-hour kit and I just hope I can reach it before they over-run the house. Kathy says I have zombies on the brain but I think that's kind of redundant, don't you?

Miss C, your cat and Gus really got into it tonight and when I tried to break it up before Smokey killed Gus I was rewarded with two major bites on my leg. From Gus, still in time-out and high on my bad list.

Well, that's it for the blogosphere for today. Closing thoughts: There is no global warming. You can't spend more money than you receive for very long. This internet thing might last longer than I first thought. You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people for only some of the time, so our Prez will soon prove that I hope.

**7-15-09 Update** Cabela's called today and my .380 rounds are in. As soon as I get them I'll try out my Bersa and see how it fires. Side note: my stun pen needs warranty service so I'm buying another one (or two, or three). I got a good price so if anyone is in the market I can give you the website. I got a basic stun gun, 900,000 volts; a flashlight/stun gun with 1 million volts, a cell phone shaped stun gun that I think has 1 million volts - all three are rechargable. I also got some pepper spray for Kathy and Clarisa , it has invisible UV dye so the bad guy can be identified later. That and some toys for under $85, which is the usual price of just a cell phone shaped stun gun. I just hope they'll work against zombies.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New and improved blog for May

Well, I bought a gun. It's a shiny new Bersa .380 concealed carry with the satin nickel finish. So far it's unfired since ammo is impossible to find but Cabela's assures me my order for 2 boxes will be filled by the 10th. Those boxes won't last long as I want to put the gun thru it's paces. I took the concealed carry class and now just need to pay the state to get a permit. The Bersa has great safety features, an integral trigger lock, a trigger blocking device, a safety, and a magazine safety so without a magazine it becomes an ineffective club. When carried with a round in the chamber it can still be fired with a single long trigger pull but it's very unlikely to do that by accident.

Skyler got the Bersa Thunder .380 which is only slightly longer and thicker, a bit heavier and is otherwise exactly the same. It's not quite as eye-catching as mine since it lacks the satin nickel finish but that's not important for something that will remain hidden most of the time. His would be a bit harder to pocket carry but I'm not sure how feasible that will prove to be with my Bersa CC either. My nephew Terry's wife has the same gun as Skyler's and he claims she loves it.

We saw Wicked in SLC last week: it was very entertaining. Funny, a perverse twist on the Wizard of Oz with former heroes becoming villains or dolts and the villainous Wicked Witch becoming a very sympathetic character. I'm not into musical theater as much as I used to be but it was worth the effort.

Saturday is Star Trek day. The new movie might revive a franchise that has withered away and I've always preferred the Star Trek universe to the Star Wars or other universes. As if that matters with a fantasy universe. When I mentioned I wanted to see it in Imax, Kathy pointed out we'd have to go to Salt Lake to do so, which I interpreted as 'we need to go to SLC to see it in Imax'. She disputes that's what she meant but I think we have a legally binding oral agreement. I'll have to ask Whitney for her opinion.

Kathy got a new PC, a Dell laptop to replace her broken Toshiba. It's also shiny and new and much better than mine in nearly every way. No it's not, it requires Vista whereas mine has been successfully upgraded to good old XP. I won't go back no matter how much Gates offers me, I've yet to see a laptop that can run better on Vista than XP. But it is faster and newer than mine.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

Can you believe some people hate themselves so much they want us all to just go away? To become extinct? They probably oppose the loss of any other species but humans are irredeemably evil in their view. Go to only if you can stand the utmost in human idiocy and self-hatred, it sounds like a parody until you read the site itself which seems to be genuinely in favor of people slowing their reproduction until the human race vanishes. I suspect the authors of the site are among those who claim humans are the only species to make war, which only proves some people never go outside. For rodents every second is a challenge to survive with many predators keen to now only 'make war' on them, but to devour the loser in the war. Jungles are evidently peaceful places where the crocs lie down with the gazelles instead of eating them, right? Like most idiocy, I fully support these cretins leading the way, if they don't want to eat meat, they should also respect vegetable rights and simply stop eating. If they think humans need to become extinct - lead by example. Once you're gone we'll carefully consider your position, while we divide up your assets.

Gun or no gun?

I am trying to decide whether to buy a gun. I'm pretty sure I will so the real question is what gun to buy, a handgun and shotgun seem to be a good idea both for home and personal defense. I want a very small 'pocket' gun that is still powerful enough to make a clear impression so I will probably get on a .380 caliber. The choices are two mostly plastic guns, the Kel-Tec P-3AT and the Ruger LCP, or the equally cheap but heavier and more metallic Bersa .380. All of them are small enough to fit into a jeans pocket (front or back) and be invisible in a pocket holster. It's not illegal to carry any of them with a permit but you're not permitted to draw the gun without big provocation and it's a bad idea to even let someone see a clear outline of your gun. I'll probably get the Bersa, it's cheap and has fewer problems reported than the other two, the Ruger was fully recalled for a fix and only the Bersa has a real safety - in fact it has three of them. One on the trigger, a trigger lock, another to keep it from firing unintentionally, and a third to keep it from firing if the clip is removed. You can also easily see if a round is in the chamber, making it about as safe as a handgun can be.

For a shotgun I really don't know, a shorter barrel is preferred for faster maneuvering but I'm not sure that's a big issue and a longer barrel with solid shot gives you better accuracy. I'll probably get whatever is on sale at Cabela's when I decide to buy one, providing it doesn't have negative reviews. I'm buying a couple of books on handguns and I've subscribed to four gun magazines and already I know a bit more lingo. Did you know it's legal to own and fire a fully automatic gun? With the appropriate background checks, tax stamps and approval from local authorities you can but the catch is the gun had to have been made before 1986. Which makes these guns very pricey and valuable but I can't see any need for a gun like that unless you're planning a police stand-off or the Zombie Apocalypse is imminent. And everyone knows shotguns are better at putting down zombies than any machine gun.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What is up that is new?

Not much. Blogs can be tedious and boring and overly detailed. Like this one. But I refuse to be so boring as to write that I went to the dentist and had a tooth filling redone so I'd look less like some refugee from Deliverance (look it up, I refuse to indulge you). Or that I go to the doctor tomorrow to try some new headache medicine if he's willing. No, I won't bore you with such detail.

Whittney is now a blogger and that's a good thing. Five years ago the word blogging would likely be assumed to be a problem requiring some kind of ointment or bandage but now it's mainstream. Not so much as Facebook yet but more than Twitter.

To anyone who wants to know what is funny on tv, at least to an old man like me, here is a list. I find them occasionally funny enough to laugh out loud, ranked in more or less descending order of humorosity. I search high and low for comedies since laughter is allegedly the best medicine and at least it makes time pass.

1. this last week the winner was Rules of Engagement, give it a try, it made me laugh more than anything else
2. probably Psych which is much less grating now that I've adjusted to the antics of the male lead
3. this is a tie between How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory. Both can be funny but neither is as reliable as the first two, sometimes they just miss my funny bone for 30 minutes straight
4. Monk but mostly the reruns, the new ones are just rarely funny anymore which is very disappointing. The next season is the final and I'm glad of it even though I sometimes like a few minutes of a particular show the rest can be almost painful to watch.
5. The Office. I'm so conflicted, it's sometimes so funny I laugh out loud and scare that cats but most of the time Michael is on the screen I'm cringing with my fingers in my ears as if Obama was giving a speech. I did this with Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show, this character is just as bumbling but even more full of himself than good old Barney ever was.
6. The New Adventures of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried, in a dead heat. Any given episode can vault them to first place but they're not as reliably funny. Same with Worst Week, funny premise and hilarious antics but really, the idea that honesty is never the best policy just isn't that funny any longer. If you screw up admit it, come clean and take your lumps, especially when lying or hiding the truth always blows up in your face. It's a lot like co-eds in slasher movies who think to themselves, "Oh my, Ginger and Adam just got axed to death, let's get naked and make out by those trees!" A teenager can be stupid but give me a break.
7. Red Eye on Fox News really really late. Clearly they're embarassed to have this show like CNN was embarassed at having Glenn Beck. But it's usually very funny, some improv over the news and some funny stand-up comics sitting down for a change. Political but not totally one-sided. Very inappropriate sometimes so it's hard to recommend, lots of gay innuendos fly about and nearly anything gets mocked but it's always on my Tivo.

Well, that's it. Do not take my advice, do not watch any of these shows on my say-so. I'm very unreliable and my legal obligations have been satisfied by saying this. I've probably missed my favorite comedy but that's how my mind works, or doesn't work in this case.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Life resumes on Sunday sunday sunday

At least for Kathy it does. The Amazing Race is now up to number 14, that's 14 amazing, uh, races, all around the world. For me life resumed when Psych and Burn Notice returned and as noted before, a Monk episode actually made me laugh for the first time in quite awhile. Not the latest episode (Bully), though, it was as weak as I've come to expect.

If it seems like I spend too much time watching tv it's because it's probably true. But now that we have HD on the DVR with an external HD (750 gigs) to hold even more HD shows, I'm an addict. Nothing like watching James Bond (Sean Connery or Timothy Dalton only please) to brighten your mood. As I type I'm watching Dune in HD which is even better than the DVD, but this version has the scenes I don't care for with Baron Harkonnen and his mentat friend. The theme music in 5.1 shows how underrated Toto was, their music for Dune is easily my favorite for all movie themes. And it's hard to describe how good a show like The Last Mimzy looks in HD, just like looking out a window at a field of flowers, only better since I don't have to weed them.

I spent last night reconfiguring our wireless security, I'm not sure who told me that MAC filtering is the best method but countless posts online argue otherwise, so we went back to WPA2-TKIP which should be better. Of course nothing would connect afterwards so I had to go to each device to set it up again which isn't half as fun as it sounds.

We hoped to have a little Psych party on Friday the 13th but it may turn out to be just Kathy and I since nobody else has agreed to come over. She may not enjoy it much as she has a strong aversion to scary movies, even the Puppet Masters freaked her out and that was about as scary as a bowl of ramen soup. Maybe it will be more funny than scary, it's nearly always funny.

In unrelated news our cat continues to be a self-indulgent brat, proving that I'm not the laziest or most self-indulgent occupant of our household. Which is why I keep her around since she usually fails to find the litter box at some point every day and she's not the friendliest cat in the whole world. Ask anyone she's attacked. She's at her best in the winter when she's at least willing to cuddle a bit, if only to steal some body heat.

It's fun to read everyone's blogs and it's too bad we didn't have this tech a long time ago, you can learn a lot about someone from their random thoughts. Then again, smoke signals weren't that bad and you could show some flourishes if you were skillful.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Great news! Monk wasn't awful

We just finished watching the latest episode of Monk, a Superbowl tribute. The plot wasn't too bad and I rarely cringed. In fact, for the first time in weeks I laughed out loud at one point. What used to be my favorite tv show has recently been dismal but maybe they can revive it if this is any indication.

In other news, I learned our Philips DVD DVP5992 player is even more awesome than I had thought. Not only will it upconvert DVDs to 1080i or 720p, not only will it play nearly every video format from AVI to MG1 or 2, but it has a USB port on the front that works great, too. I dumped some video files I'd encoded from DVDs I own onto a 4gig card and it played nearly all of them flawlessly. It won't play back MP4 files I encoded for my iPod Touch but it did everything else great. I could pay a ridiculous sum to Apple to get component AV cables to play videos on my Touch onto my HDTV but that's not likely since I dislike being ripped off.

The Westinghouse SK-40H520S 40" LCD HDTV remains my best online purchase in about 10 years and that's really saying something. Thank you eBay and Paypal for offering me such a great deal. 40 inches of 720P bliss and even regular tv and DVDs look better on the bigger screen.

But if when I add my new HD Dish DVR VIP722 the picture is even better, the resolution is far better even than an upconverted DVD. I was happy to take the 722 instead of the 622 (which I'd ordered) and I'm glad the tech didn't have the correct model with him. Almost twice the storage and I didn't have to pay the extra $100 to get it. I can also activate it's USB port (for $40) and add unlimited storage to it via an external hard drive. That should arrive in a few days and I'll update with the results when it does.