Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Guess Someone Has To Make Them

I ran across an online ad for a company that produces ceremonial ribbon cutting scissors.

Talk about a niche market.

I feel slightly guilty about not keeping up on my posts. I'm reminded of Paula Abdul (with M.C. Kat, or course), "I take 2 steps forward -- and 2 steps back." After a 6 month LSAT/Law School push forward, I've taken a step or two back...but that's ok.

In the meantime, I've been conversing with God. Talk about a love it or hate it book! Check out the Amazon reviews, 710 5 star votes, 237 1 star votes, and 159 votes combined for 2, 3, and 4 stars.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Photobloggin Monday!!

I awoke to a beautiful, bright, crisp Sunday morning yesterday. There was even some snow left on the hills from last week's storm. Too bad I had a splitting headache and a wrenching sore throat. I spent the next 14 hours in bed. My cold couldn't show up 24 hours later on Monday morning, noooo....

Without further ado, here is this week's photo. Our Thanksgiving guests this year came in the form of 2 labradoodles, Henry (2 years old) & Sprocket (a.k.a. Bastardo, 2 months old).

They were posed at the top of my stairs when my lovely wife called them, right as I was taking this photo. At first I was upset because I lost the shot. Then, after going through a dozen boring photos of the dogs looking at me (like I was nuts), this last one quickly became our favorite.

Sprocket & Henry

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ellen's 12 Days of Christmas

Yesterday started with a funny and prophetic read of one of my favorite bloggers, Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame). His post discusses "The Wonderful Time" between when you hear wonderful news and learning it is wrong, or not as good as you thought.

My beautiful wife had a ticket for the taping of Ellen yesterday. She was pretty sure it was during her "12 Days of Christmas" series where she gives away loot to everyone in the audience.

After hearing the news, I entered 'Wonderful Time' when I started researching past shows and giveaways. Last year there were $1500 necklaces, $3000 fridges, Wiis, Xbox 360s. This year already looked promising with iPod touches, Wiis (again), Smartphones, gift cards, etc. This person went on day one and scored.

I began planning what we would keep and what we could sell off. Electronics that we didn't need like game systems and stupidly expensive cell phones would sell well on ebay. Home items we could unload pretty easily. Any cool stuff like iPods or jewelry or trips would be kept.

Towards late afternoon yesterday, I started getting the jitters wondering what was in store for her (and me too!).

When she finally called the first thing out of her mouth was, "It was designer day!"

While she got some great stuff and certainly deserved all of it, my personal "Wonderful Time" ended.

Here's the rundown:

  • $150 gift card to Bliss for spa services
  • Bliss body butter (?!?!)
  • Head & Shoulders package - bathrobe, slippers, towels, body products
  • Diamond Necklace - not sure of designer, this one's coming in the mail
  • Calvin Klein Collection Sunglasses ($399)
  • Gucci "New Britt" bag ($695)
Again, I couldn't be happier for my lovely wife; there isn't a better giveaway for her, except maybe if a cruise or some shoes were involved....but come on!

I couldn't get 1/10th of what the purse, glasses and necklace are worth thanks to all the fakes and knockoffs without a receipt. Not to mention the castration involved by even broaching the subject.

Yes, I'm spoiled (and a little whinny); however, the implications of these gifts dig deeper -with Christmas, our anniversary and her birthday looming just around the corner, my gifts will pale in comparison. Sure, it's the thought that counts...but whoever said that didn't know my wife and purses!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Silence No More

I never realized how much my car stereo means to me until it stopped working. My 40 mile commute is usually filled with a combination of news radio, KROQ, CDs, and Japanese lessons. For the last week my radio has been dead. The awkward silence of the road, combined with the awareness of many disturbing car sounds that are usually masked by the stereo make my drive long and uneasy.

I attempted to fix it over the weekend. Both fuses looked fine and taking the dashboard out revealed nothing but a bunch of wires. When I started the car back up, the radio worked fine! I turned the car on and off a couple of times with no problems. 10 minutes later I drove to the mall and the radio was dead the whole way.

Last night I had a brilliant idea (thanks to my lovely wife) to switch out the fuse. She said since I was able to get it working for a while when I was moving things around, the fuse was probably bad even though it didn't look blown. Lo and behold, a new fuse and 30 seconds later I had a fully functioning stereo again.

This morning I rocked out to Prince and learned how to say "I don't want to eat now, I want to eat later," in Japanese...and that strange grinding sound seemed to vanish.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I love taking surveys. I'm a member of a few survey companies (Greenfield, E-Rewards, J.D. Power & Assoc., etc.). The one I took today was a lot of fun because it reminded me of the 80's, when every instruction manual was written in Japanese-English.

Here are some of the questions/prompts/answers:

  • On buying an old vs. new house: "A house looks nice, because it has a flavor with age."
  • Do you stick to your housing to what extent?
    1. Stick very much
    2. Quite stick
    3. Stick not so much
    4. Stick a little
  • How many people do you live together?
  • Regarding my work status: Full-time employee (Clark level)
  • My favorite, when asking about buying a previously owned home: "You do not care about previous livers."
So somewhere, someone knows that I quite stick to my housing, am a Full-time, Clark level employee who does not care about previous livers.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Photoblogging Monday!

This week is looking up. I got my inbox back this morning so I can catch up on 5 days of email. Not having email access has somehow affected my blogging as well. It was nice being away from the computer.

Today's photo comes from my Ugly Series. I love shooting themes, and so far I have three entries in this one. Surprisingly, two of the three include food items - the other is pond scum.

This one is of the slop bucket from my trip to band camp. I love the colors and variety of food.

Slop, Ugly Series #3

Friday, December 07, 2007


I'm sitting on hold for the second day in a row. My email, which I've had for 11 years (that's close to infinity in web years), has been upgraded to a bigger, better interface. This means of course that I haven't been able to check my email since Wednesday night.

I do everything via webmail. I stopped downloading email to my computer years ago for the convenience of having everything in one spot which I can access at home, work or on the road.

I have access to all my old email, but I have no inbox. When I check for new mail, nothing shows up. What's weird is I get new spam in my spam folder.

Yesterday's answer was that because my inbox was so big (2000 messages) it was taking a while to transfer. We'll see what they say today!

Oh, and add this to my list of weird things that have happened.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Something is going to happen, but I don't know what. Weird things have been going on, and to me that means there is a tremor in the force.

The brain always likes to find patterns - like when your friend buys a new car and all of a sudden you see that car, same make, model and color, all over the place. This may all add up to happy brain patterns, but I just want to get it out in the open.

First, people have been driving weird. You say, "This is LA stupid, of course!" I'm not talking about bad drivers or crazy maniacs, but weird drivers.

One example - I saw an SUV approaching me this morning on the 14 like a bat out of hell. I kindly got out of the way expecting some young punk or at least a Valencia Soccer Mom. In the SUV was an old skinny, shriveled woman with giant hair. I couldn't even imagine how she could walk, let alone manage a beast of a vehicle going 90mph.

Then the weather. I scrape ice off my car in the morning, then by 1:30 it's 85 degrees out at work. A full 50 degree difference!

There are weird things at work, with friends' and families' work, and weird health issues.

I woke up the other morning with a fingernail shaped scrape on my nose, like I had slept with my nose pressed against the end of my finger. Ok, fine. The next morning, when the darn thing should have healed (partially at least), I get out of the shower and it's bleeding profusely. It's been 4 days, the scab is still there, and I have to keep telling people that I got in a brawl protecting my wife from a drunk dude at a rock concert.

The nail in the coffin, so to speak, was my car radio. 155,000 miles with no problems and today on my drive home, the radio decided to turn on and off on its own, at random times. It can't just die. It has to die, then come back on again 15 minutes later (scaring the crap out of me), then die a few minutes after that, then finally decide to live, at least for the remainder of my drive. Weird.

Part of this weirdness may stem from my lack of nutrition and exercise. Part of it may be the post-application/pre-decision law school void that I am in. It may still be from the stupid time change.

But, if there is another 9/11 scale event or "The Big One", remember you heard about it here first.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Anniversary Snowball Effect

This is my wife's year to plan our anniversary. Since she's going to school and I'll be going to school (hopefully!) next year, we're trying to be frugal about it.

The first idea was having a romantic dinner at home. We love food, and we could splurge on things we normally don't get. We looked into getting some nice steak from Heartbrand Beef (which I've wanted to try for a while). It turns out that 2 steaks from there could run $75+.

This is where the snowball effect kicked in:

"Well, if we're going to spend $75 on steaks at home, we might as well spend $100 at Ruth's Chris or some other steak house."
We went to Ruth's Chris last year and loved it, but wanted to do something different. After asking around and comparing reviews, there are several comparable steak houses, but Cut by Wolfgang Puck was a notch higher. It also would run $200+.

OK, so we go to Cut, but then we need a hotel room so I don't have to drive 90 minutes after gorging on steak & wine. Now we're at $500:
"Well, if we're willing to spend $500 on food and a night in a hotel, maybe we can go somewhere for a few days."
This is the point where the snowball lost control. Feel free to add, "Well, if we're willing to spend (insert dollar amount) to go here," in between each line. Here is our progression:
  • Weekend in San Diego - $750 (hotel, nice dinner, gas, Zoo tickets)
  • Hawaii - $1800 (flight & hotel)
  • Tokyo - $2500 (flight)
The scary part was that this wasn't wishful thinking at all. We had seriously talked ourselves into international travel from a conversation that started with a goal of saving money.

Our current plan is to see Barry Manilow in Vegas, which is fun, a little splurge, but not too over the top.

If you have any other suggestions, feel free to share! By the way, I don't feel guilty for asking for ideas since technically it's not my year to plan.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Photoblogging Monday!

Waking up this morning to freezing temperatures out in the desert and ice covering the car, I decided to post a photo that would make me think warm thoughts. This comes from my honeymoon in Cancun almost 5 years (!) ago, taken on my first camera, a Fuji FinePix. Sure wish I had my Canon back then...I guess I'll just have to take another trip down there.

Chichen Itza Climbers