Friday, September 07, 2007


Dang it!

This morning I was going out to my car and noticed something seemed off. I paused, looked around, and finally saw that the two very nice chairs we had on our porch were gone.

Now, last spring Peabo noted that he had some nice porch chairs stolen from his back porch, and i thought that odd. Porch chairs? Well, Peabo's stuff was of a certain look and feel, and I understand that it's fairly expensive to get the kind of furniture he had.

But The League is a trusting soul. Plus, honestly, that furniture has been there for 10 or 11 months. I just had given up worrying about it. We live on a street that is not really a through-way, so I suspect that someone who either works on our street or visits our street had been coveting our patio chairs. Because, honestly... I don't think my neighbors that I know are big enough jerks to come between midnight and this morning and take our damn chairs, and I get depressed thinking someone would visit our neighborhood in a desperate search for porch chairs. But what the heck do I know?

I HATE getting robbed. Everyone does. A little bit of larceny from a big box store or something I can almost understand, but when you start stealing other people's personal stuff, it just means you think you deserve their stuff more than they deserve it. It's a dickish move. I don't know if people think we're rolling in cash because we had decent porch chairs, or what... but, seriously, Leaguers... I can't afford new @#$%ing porch chairs.

I also am glum that, no doubt, someone will suggest we secure the chairs somehow.

No. That sucks. I am not chaining @#$%ing chairs to the @#$%ing railing. I don't want to live in a world where anything i don't have nailed down is going to walk off.

But I also have two patios. So... next time the furniture goes upstairs. It seems less likely that people will climb the front of my house to steal stuff.

Downstairs? Who knows? I don't want to clutter the porch with furniture so crappy that nobody will want it, but I also want to be able to sit out there.

I do know that it could have been way, way worse. We got mildly robbed when I was in high school, and it wound up with us getting a burglar alarm. I don't recall losing much but a portable CD player in the robbery, but my mom came home before I did that day, and that could have been bad had the crooks still been there. In PHX we got a burglar system right out of the gate.

This incident just reminds me that, despite our two dog security system, we should probably think about getting wired up. Which is a permanent, ongoing expense. Which sucks. And makes me that much further from obtaining new patio furniture.

But I also don't want to come home one night and find all my stuff is missing. Not that anyone is going to successfully steal a few thousand comics, but... Whatever I can do to keep the house from getting ripped off and kepe Jamie safe is a good idea.



Thursday, September 06, 2007

Why for is an iPod not cheaper...?

So Steve Jobs came down from the mountain on Wednesday to announce the latest in Apple's line of i-Devices, an iPod which pretty much is the iPhone, but without a calling plan and a lot less memory.

Those who have seen the interface on the iPhone know its pretty jazzy, and like the Xerox iconographic interface, is probably the watershed for the future of interfaces, especially in the era of the computer that fits into your pocket.

That said, anyone who actually buys the new iPod Touch is a chump.

The thing has a fraction of the memory of the "iPod Classic", and while you can get Wi-Fi on it, it's still pretty darn expensive for something that will be outdated by January. Really, if you already have a calling plan and an iPod and don't need to spend your time at the grocery aisle blogging, there's not a lot of compelling reasons not to wait to see what comes next.

That, and the cost issue we'll get to shortly.

This is not to say there are not compelling reasons to WANT the new iPod... just... wait. Do not give in to the crushing desire to show all your friends how the screen stays level when you turn the iPod around.

What I find particularly irksome is that the lower memory (ie: cheaper iPods) are now disappearing from the line up, or becoming Nanos (ie: the iPod to small for my mitts). Perhaps a Nano is what's in my future.

But, add in the fact that they reduced the cost of the iPhone by $200 (more than the cost of most phones to begin with) within a few months of the initial offering, and... holy cow. Bad form, Apple. Why not just slap a "sucker" sticker on the forehead of your most faithful? I don't know if the iPhone isn't meeting expectations for sales or what, but it doesn't make me want to run out and drop $250 on an 80 GB iPod if its going to be $150 by April.

And that's kind of what's so vexing... When is the right time to get onboard with a new iPod? I don't know.

All I know is that a few years ago they released all those tests you could take to find out if you were an early adopter, cutting edge adopter, or whatever, and I always sort of thought that the folks who buy new technology of any kind when it first hits have either far more enthusiasm or money than me. I like to wait to see if the technology is going to get wide release (remember the mini-cd's we were all supposed to use circa 1996? No? Well, my point... But you could find albums in the format for a while). And, of course, after watching the PS3 just drop its cost, you kind of wonder exactly what the profit margin is on some of these doo-hickeys.

I'm not knocking the iPod. Fer chrissake, I'd love to have a new one. I just sort of question what, exactly, I'm buying from them, and if I shouldn't start looking at my options with other MP3 players. Mostly, I'd be fine with a 60 or 30 GB iPod, so must I carry a Nano?

Pavarotti Merges with the Infinite

Pavarotti, the only opera singer anyone knows outside of Placido Domingo and Jessye Norman, has been recalled to the Pearly Gates.

I own, I think, two CD's featuring Opera. Maybe three...? I'm not exactly an opera buff, but if you were paying attention in the mid-90's, Pavarotti was 1/3rd responsible for a resurgence in interest in the artform.

Plus, he looks like Vultan from Flash Gordon, which is ,in all ways, awesome.

He was bigger than life, had a huge appetite for life, and seemed to have a terrific sense of humor. And he gave chubby guys like me hope that we'd find some talent in ourselves.

Why not pick up Pavarotti in Pagliacci (it's about, as I was once ridiculed for summarizing it, a sad clown).

So long, Pavarotti.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Few Items of Import

Lots of Jason Bourne

I'm not a huge espionage/ spy/ cloak & dagger movie kind of guy. But this week we watched both The Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum. At some point I do want to have a Bourne-a-thon as, really, all three movies are one, long movie.

I may also actually check out the Ludlum books at some point. I'm a little curious to see how Ludlum handled the source material.

I did dig the last Bond movie a whole lot, but I think the Bourne movies probably informed the latest Bond more than the other way around.

The movies don't talk down to the audience, they move at a good clip and keep you engaged in the mystery surrounding Bourne. It's pretty good stuff. Jason will bemoan this opinion, but I wasn't a huge fan of the movie Ronin, and I generally feel my interest glazing over when it comes to spy movies and their trailers. Perhaps its the good casts in the Bourne movies (well, I'm a fan of Brian Cox, and I could watch Joan Allen tie her shoes for an hour), or the well choreographed fights and chases...

I dunno.

At any rate, one day they will put all three movies together in a DVD set, and I will buy them.

The Big Bang Theory

This fall CBS is bringing a sitcom to the airwaves featuring a guy I knew back the day, Jim Parsons. Leaguer Anne F. got all up in my grill about my lack of Big bang Theory coverage, and lately they've been placing ads for the show on Yahoo Mail, so I figure now is the time to mention Jim's latest venture in the world of TV.

Here's a link to some promo the show is running.

Here's a link to more info about Jim Parsons.

Here's the show's official site.

You may remember Jim Parsons from such shows as Judging Amy or movies like Garden State. Or that Quizno's commercial where he nursed from a wolf. Anyhow, we're wishing Jim the best of luck, even if his show is at least partially about making fun of socially awkward comic geeks (ahem).

It was good to hear from leaguer Anne F. Hi, Anne!

Jason on Skates

It seems that next Thursday, I shall be on skates. Jason's pals Eric and Stephanie have rented out Skateland for the night before ACL Fest begins.

I have not been on skates for many pounds and many years. Still, I am intrigued. Do my old skating abilities still linger in the back of my mind? Is Jamie still up for a couple's skate?

It's also important to note that Eric, Jason and Reed's band, the Mono E, will be playing hot, hot 80's tunes. Who knows what horrors await us...?

Toad in the House

This evening when we let the dogs back into the house after they had a potty break and treat, a huge toad came in with them. It was a fairly large toad, maybe three inches long and two inches wide, and it just sort of hopped in the back door and under a piece of furniture we have by the back door.

Obviously toads don't bite, and I've played with enough toads as a kid to know there's nothing less risky in nature than picking up our croaking friends, but they do pee all over you when you pick them up.

Anyhow, we got toads in our yard, which is great. They eat bugs. I must read up on how to cultivate a toad population.

Oh, and I got the toad out with an open door and a bit of encouragement with the business end of a broom.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Ready to Talk About It

So... UT's first game wasn't so great.

We had a small crowd over for the game, and I did some cooking. I've also pledged never to invite people over and buy beer ever again. People are all too generous with beer (and, as it turns out, shrimp) and we still have quite a bit of beer left in the house.

But... okay, the game. I'm going to leave real analysis of the game to those who (a) know more football, and (b) watched more of the game than I did. Let us just say that while I am glad that we didn't lose to Appalachian State, I'm not exactly burning with confidence about our chances at a national or even conference championship. Both OU and A&M had much better games and didn't lose steam after the first quarter.

UT used to (when VY was there) bulldoze over a team so they simply couldn't keep up anymore in the third and fourth quarters. We gave up yard after yard, finally giving up a touchdown in the last minute.


We're ranked very high, I guess AP still thinking there's enough of the Championship team of two years ago in the team's DNA to put up a good showing. And as much as I think Colt McCoy has a good arm, the Greg Davis DNA in the offense is playing out just as it did during the gutless Chris Simms years.

It's going to be a long year for the Horns and their fans.

The OC and Pavlov

For years the dog's dinner time has been 5:00 PM on the nose. Around 4:30 they might start bugging us and hanging around the pantry, but that will win them no favors. 5:00 is as early as they are going to be fed.

Recently SoapNet moved the OC to 5:00, and Jamie has been watching. So much so, that now the opening piano keys of the OC theme song are now enough to get the dogs up and moving. In fact, with the SoapNet OC marathon today, we may have an opportunity to get the dogs riled up every hour just after the start of the hour.

Kind of sad for both the dogs and Jamie, I think.

Michael comes to town

I first met Michael in 9th grade when Justin Lincoln and I were working on a class project and Michael hung out with us and helped out.

Justin and Mike lived together Freshman year (actually, every year) at UT, and it turned out they were also on my floor (as I was cohabitating with Peabo and my pile of dirty clothes). Justin (JAL), CB, Mike and myself were all RTF majors and spent an inordinate amount of time hanging out.

Then, one day, Michael was graduating, and about that time, he met a girl. A girl in Oklahoma. And, poof, Michael disappeared.

He's been in touch. You'll see his comments here at the League, but I hadn't seen the guy in somewhere around 10 years. Also I don't think he'd ever met Jamie, and I hadn't ever met his wife. Anyhow, we all caught up at Hut's on Sunday. Justin (and his wife), Michael (and his wife), me and Jamie, and CB and Xander. 10 years on, and , for good or ill, it really didn't feel like that much had changed.

We're just one good death away from The Big Chill, I guess.

Anyway, Michael seems to be loving Oklahoma, so I wasn't littering him with questions about when he was coming back, but speaking of...

The In-Laws in San Marcos

Jamie's folks bought a place in San Marcos. It's very close to Wonder World, so its got that going for it.

We're actually pretty excited about them coming down. They won't be down here full time for probably two years or longer, but they now have a base sort of near Austin (and with easy access to the glass bottom boat tours of Aquarena Springs).

It's a really nice house, and I think it will suit them. We've already brought Mel and Lucy down to run in their big back yard. You can always tell when Mel approves of something because his tail doesn't just wag, it goes into a sort of gyrocopter spinning motion.

I have no idea what my own parents are doing in a few years when they wrap up this work business. There's been some talk about Austin, but I'm guessing they wind up in the Woodlands, just north of where I went to high school. We'll see. It's certainly the major topic of conversation whenever we're together.

At any rate, we're happy to know Dick and Judy will be close by soon.