the flasher

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finally got rid of my sprint cell phone. i’ve been with sprint since
the late nineties. i like their nationwide coverage and all but i hated
paying the monthly fees especially since i never used enough monthly
minutes to justify the costs. so late last year i decided that either boost mobile or virgin mobile would be the way to go. Simple. No contracts. just pay as yo go. no sweat.
I was leaning more toward boost since they offered WAP capabilities but
they weren’t in my state yet so i waited a while to see if they’d get
their act together and expand to more areas. meanwhile I got Elaine to
switch over from AT&T wireless (horrible wireless service btw) to
virgin mobile earlier in the year and it’s been great. she manages to
stretch $20 over a two month period. not bad. she’s got the audiovox 8610
which isn’t the greatest phone but it does the job. i think that’s the
only downside with virgin is the limited variety of phones as well as
the vanilla-type features offered on the phones i.e. NO WAP. hey but if
that’s what it takes to save a few bucks then i’m game. So, long story
short, boost is planning on expanding to our state next year some time
and i didn’t want to keep my sprint plan that much longer (esp. since
my trusty old cell phone that i’ve dropped on the ground several
hundred times was dying…) SO, i went ahead and got a virgin mobile
phone. it’s an audiovox V7 flasher. yeah, i’m not that fond of the name myself. I take it that flasher
is referring to the camera/flash capabilities of the phone and not the
lowly individual owning the phone. anyway, i’m having some fun
downloading ringtones and taking pix although i’m not planning on doing
too much of that since virgin charges for anything and everything but
again, i’ll still come out ahead in terms of saving some moolaa than if
i stayed with sprint. :) plus, virgin uses the same sprint network so
at least i’m already familiar with where all the dead spots are….
laterz!

published in Endless Journeys HA! HA!

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boy, for a second there, i *almost* fell for it. I received a letter saying that one of my photos (submitted through snapfish for the picture.com contest) was chosen to be published in the upcoming hardbound book “Endless Journeys”. The nice little letter continued to inform me that out of the thousands of photos submitted, my picture of Alec will be one of the “chosen few” to appear in their next book. well, after reading this, several flags went up. 1) - the snapshot of Alec. although it’s a cute picture of Alec, honestly, the shot didn’t really have any artistic value. I mean, the book is supposed to highlight the work of amateur photographers and i don’t think my “kid and his birthday cake” shot shows any skill as a photographer at all. just a point and shoot photo. Alec could probably win something for *cuteness* but my *skillz* behind the lens is definitely lacking.2) - they want ME to pay $70 bucks for a copy of their book!! $70 dollars for a book. come on. 3) - shouldn’t they be paying me to publish my *exquisitely* shot photo of Alec.4) - thank goodness for the internet. click here for a discussion on picture.com and their wonderful book project. Apparently they’ve been milking people out of their money for over a year, pushing the publishing date back time and time again. Imagine if they could get say 500 people to pay $70 bucks each. plus they have a gift option so some of those folks paid even more. yikes! AND they really didn’t say how many photos were going to appear in the book. for all i know, there could be thousands of pictures in the book, all of them about “thumbnail” sized.what a scam!needless to say, i didn’t order myself a copy. but i’ll be looking for the book at the library once the book comes out (if it actually does get published!!) just to see if my *wonderful work* actually *is* indeed in the book. we will see….

Mr. Non-Existent Short-Term Memory Man strikes again… scene #2258

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ahh, yes. Once again we find Mr. Non-Existent Short-Term Memory Man sitting at his desk expecting a call from his long-suffering and dutiful wife any minute now. His office phone rings and out comes her voice flowing from the phone earpiece like a gentle soothing stream…NOT,

“honey, you forgot to take your lunch with you to work again. See, you *never* pay attention to what I say b/c I even reminded you not a minute before you left the house…. blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda” [loop this segment over and over for ten minutes…]

“But dear, I just forgot…” Mr. NESTMM tries to explain…

“don’t give me that excuse about your memory. It’s not going to work this time. you always try to blame your memory while in fact it’s just *you* not listening to anything that I tell you to do….blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda” [loop it for another ten minutes…]

“yes, dear. Ok, dear. whatever you say dear… I’ll be sure to eat that sandwich for dinner then. thank you dear. I’m so lucky to have you looking out for me like that, dear. I’ll see you at dinner then. love you. bye”

[repeat whipping sound in the background]

Mr. NESTM looks down and realizes that he forgot to bring his cell-phone as well.

“Crap.”

[office phone rings again…]

[end of scene # 2258]

Katamari Damacy, anyone?

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OK. there’s definitely something wrong with me. and that’s nothing new for most of you. anyway, i can’t stop playing this track ever since i ran across it the other day (found via this site)
It’s one of the songs from the bizarre Japanese video game Katamari Damacy.

it looks so absurd, i think i’ll get it. it’s soooo me, isn’t it?

they call me ‘yardsale’

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ate at the Q Shack at Southpoint Mall for lunch today. i give it a thumbs up. ya can’t go wrong with Carolina BBQ. mmmmmm. oh, i ate too much. my buddy Chuck better stop taking me to these places to eat or else i’m just going to have to start wearing sweatpants to work (for the expandable waistline.) in other news, luwanda, another one of my friendly coworkers, has started to call me by a new name everyday to “celebrate” the Y as my middle initial. don’t get me started on explaining how we got going on this subject but it involves middle names and how she never was satisfied on the way my middle name sounded so she’s taking it upon herself to find a new middle name for me. so far she’s called me: Yabber, Yakitori and YardSale …YardSale is growing on me. we’ll see how long she’ll keep this up….

in the Lennon tradition, a bed-in..

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hey all. back from a long dull weekend. how was yours? saturday started out with all of us standing in line at our pediatric clinic for Ethan and Alec to get their flu shots (baby Christian got his during is appointment earlier in the week.) Thanks to all the media hub-bub about the vaccine shortage it looked like most of the kids and their parents in North Raleigh was out in line in front of the clinic. the line stretched out of the parking lot and down the block and around the corner by 9 AM. Elaine knew this was going to happen beforehand so she kicked me out of bed at 6:30 to shower and get the kids ready to head out. we got there an hour early and caught the line before it reached beyond the edge of the parking lot. Here’s a couple fuzzy shots from Ethan’s pencam.I took care of the kids the rest of the day so that Elaine could go shopping in peace. yes, i’m such a good husband, i know. Elaine made sure to remind me that it had been quite a while since she last purchased something for herself so i let her have the day to do what she pleased. having the kids for a day must have took its toll because on sunday i was useless. i felt sick and just stayed in bed. i’m not totally sure if it was a bug or just depression but i didn’t feel like doing anything sunday. i sorta felt guilty toward the end there but the day was wasted by that time. i did catch B.A.P.S. on the tube while lying in bed sunday. it never fails. whenever i’m sick in bed, the movie always seems to be on cable somewhere. it’s my “comfort” movie. it’s so bad it’s good. in fact, it’s probably my all time favorite Halle Berry movie. the best part is when she’s standing in line for an audition and she starts dancing and humming to herself. it’s total genius. my respect for Halle’s talents shot to a new level back when i first saw that scene a couple years ago. heh.and sunday night was reserved for some of my favs: Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Desperate Housewives and Surreal Life. sad to say, i’m totally addicted. and what’s happening to my boy Jordan Knight. you would think he’d go on a show like Surreal Life to sort of raise his public profile but man, this show is totally making him out to be the biggest no-talent dweeb. he’s definitely a good example of what can be created in the recording studio from the most minuscule amount of creative talent. yeah, i enjoy crackin’ on him and the other losers on the show but then the fun diminishes when the fact remains that they are still making tons more money than i do. …back to my depression…

LOST

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neat. korean actors in an actual primetime TV series. not only that but the show’s got good ratings. kudos to the producers/writers of the show for having *real korean* dialogue between the characters on the show. check out a recent article on the actors.


———————–
text of the article:


Viewers of “Lost” have no doubt noticed that two of the characters don’t speak English a relative rarity for an American TV series.
Two of the survivors of the plane that crashed on a deserted island are Korean Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Sun (Yunjin Kim), a couple who not only do not share the same culture and values as the other castaways but who cannot communicate with them.
Which wasn’t part of the producer/writers’ original plan for the series, exactly, until Yunjin Kim (who is not related to her “Lost” husband) came in to audition for the part of Kate (a part that eventually went to Evangeline Lilly).

“She was so amazing and blew us away,” said writer/executive producer Damon Lindelof, “and we realized that she spoke fluent Korean. So we decided we should have a Korean character on the island. And maybe it was a husband and wife.”

It wasn’t something altogether inspired by Yunjin Kim. “One of the things we were talking about before that was, we knew we wanted to have a couple that didn’t speak English,” said writer/executive J.J. Abrams. “We just thought this would be really interesting you’re on an airplane that, sort of by chance, these are the people who are there.

“And when we met Yunjin, we were so blown away we actually started writing . . . her character and her husband, based on having met her.”

Yunjin Kim, while not well known in the United States, is a star in Korea, Japan and other parts of Asia, playing the leads in a TV miniseries and such blockbuster films as “Shiri.” While she was born in Korea, she was raised on Staten Island and attended New York’s High School of the Performing Arts (the one fictionalized in “Fame”), never dreaming that when she went back to Korea in 1999 she’d find big success there.

“I went back and one job led to another,” she said. “And so I’ve been spending time and working there as an actress for the past five years.”

Daniel Dae Kim was also born in Korea, but moved to Pennsylvania when he was 2 and has built a career on roles that didn’t specifically call for Asian actors. “I’ve really made it a point to try and take roles that are as assimilated as possible, so this is a real great chance to explore a whole different side of my career,” said the actor, who’s perhaps best known for his co-starring or recurring roles on “ER,” “24,” “Angel” and “Crusade,” as well as in such movies as “Spider-Man 2.”

And, while this marks the first time he’s spoken Korean in an acting role, “I’m kind of looking forward to the first time someone comes up to me on the street and says, ‘Oh, you speak English so well.’

pass the pepto…

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anyone catch Zen and the Art of Competitive Eating last night on A&E? It focused on Crazy Legs Conti who started out a big fan of the sport of competitive eating and then recently became a “professional eater” himself. I think he downed 34 *dozen* oysters to get his foot in the door with the I.F.O.C.E. … you know, the International Federation of Competitive Eating. yup, that’s right. these guys earn a living.. eating … albeit massive quantities in short periods of time. and it’s not just hot dogs believe it or not. there’s a competition for almost any type of food. burritos, beef tongue, corn beef hash, ice cream, matzo balls, spam, onion, turducken??? you name it, there’s a contest for it. It was interesting to watch Crazy Legs’ journey from being a spectator at a Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest to actually being up there on stage alongside the great Takeru Kobayashi a couple years later. he went from eeking out a living taking odd jobs like posing nude in art class and donating at the sperm bank to getting paid as an official competitive eater. and how much can you earn as a professional eater?? they never did say in the documentary. but i’d like to know. do they become like pseudo-celebrities like these recent “reality stars”? you know, according to this news article, some “reality celebs” like those from MTV’s Real World can make approx. $1500 per speaking engagement in the college circuit. the article basically says that ex-real worlders like Corral, Eric and Mike can make a living by just going around talking about themselves. ain’t that a B???? what a concept… to not *work* for a living. how do i get in on that? anyway, now back to the food thing….from all those involved with the IFOCE, my personal pick would be sonya thomas. she’s the one to look out for. She’s a little Korean woman who’s only about 100 pounds but can give Kobayashi a run for his money. i believe she’s currently ranked #2 in the IFOCE. according to the website she holds records for eating: asparagus, baked beans, cheesecake, chicken Nuggets, chicken Wings, hard boiled eggs, hamburgers, jambalaya, maine lobster, oysters, pizza, pulled pork, tacos and turducken. wow. 80 chicken nuggets in 5 minutes? 65 hard boiled eggs in less than 7 minutes? 11 pounds of cheesecake in 9 minutes??? incredible!!! how does she do it? where does it all go? hhhmmmmm, i don’t see a record for sushi. oooohhh, gotta go… i gotta start training for the next IFOCE sanctioned sushi eating contest….

shorts..

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-man this rain is bumming me out..-why do i always end up watching the real world/road rules challenge even though i know the show has turned to crapola? i mean really. how many times are we going to have to watch the same old folks (ie. Mike, Eric, Coral, Theo, Mark, Veronica, Katie, Rachel etc.) fight, scream at each other and whine for the camera just so they can earn some income?-watched the Last Samurai last night. yeah i know, i’m just *now* getting to it. when ya got little ones, you don’t get to see the latest and greatest right away. :( anyway, does anyone else think that its Margaret Cho playing the Mr. Omura character in the movie? man, it’s really uncanny…next time when you watch the flick take a closer look, it’s definitely Margaret Cho with a mustache and beard. she fooled all of y’all but she ain’t foolin’ me! :P-pigged out during lunch today. the whole group went out to the local fried seafood place. and i got what i usually get which is the “house combo platter” that’s got scallops, fish, shrimp, oysters and deviled crab. my reasoning is simply that it’s a better deal getting the house platter than one of the other “smaller” combos. well, that’s what i tell myself anyway. whatever. it works for me. heh. that’s some good eatin’ … and “i made it all gone” (as my three year old would say)… …and yes, everything is running in s l o w . . . m o t i o n this afternoon…

just me myself and I

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12 measures.

12 measures of music is what i needed to fill on a song last week. an all out drum solo. the dreaded, mind-numbing, “time for a bathroom-break” drum solo. no one wants to hear a drum solo. even *i* don’t want to hear a drum solo unless it’s by one of the all time greats.
so, who would want to hear 12 measures of just me? I know i can’t come
up with anything even *remotely* interesting. and that’s what i usually
tell the music director whenever something like this comes up and
normally my veto would go through. but not this time. the music
director as well as the horn section (those clowns!) were steadfast in
their demand for 12 measures of drums. now, i don’t mind something
that’s integral with the music itself, a drum fill or beat that
enhances the song or something that helps transitions a part to the
next section but 12 measures is asking too much …. from me as
well as the people that have to listen to me! it was tough during
rehearsal last week, trying to come up with something interesting as
well as something that gradually gained momentum that would carry into
the initial “true” intro of the song. mine felt more like disjointed
drum fill ideas pasted together haphazardly. it definitely made me
appreciate more how drummers like Neil Peart and Carl Palmer can carry
on for fifteen minutes or more. i can probably run through my standard
bag of ideas and motifs in about two minutes tops. that kinda gives you
an taste of how much i practice at home. zilch. nada. nunca.
and these “12 measures” almost made me break my long running streak.
*almost*. with two little boys running around the house *plus* a lil’
seven month old, having a drum set at home is just not a good idea.

so how did i do sunday? well, let’s just say my brain is still
trying desperately to deaden reality, spinning a web of denial and
shooting out endorphins left and right to ease the pain. i basically
held my breath and hacked my way through it. and now i don’t really
recall what i actually played. at least it wasn’t a massive train wreck
where it’d stop the song dead in its tracks. that’s a “positive”, isn’t
it? i’ve asked a couple of people and they all said “it was fine” but
how am i ever supposed to know if they’re just saying that to appease
me or if it’s something they actually thought was OK. whatever. it’s
done. it’s over. i’m not gonna worry about it. …i have to admit that
it did “stretch” me in terms of my abilities and … maybe my next solo
won’t be so bad. :P well, at least no one threw any eggs at me … not that it’d matter that much since i have a plexiglass shield around the drum kit. heh.

fun at the pig pickin’

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our work group had a pig pickin’ this past weekend. It was held at one of our co-worker’s farm. Ethan and Alec had a blast. check out more photos here.




just me myself and I

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12 measures. 12 measures of music is what i needed to fill on a song last week. an all out drum solo. the dreaded, mind-numbing, “time for a bathroom-break” drum solo. no one wants to hear a drum solo. even *i* don’t want to hear a drum solo unless it’s by one of the all time greats. so, who would want to hear 12 measures of just me? I know i can’t come up with anything even *remotely* interesting. and that’s what i usually tell the music director whenever something like this comes up and normally my veto would go through. but not this time. the music director as well as the horn section (those clowns!) were steadfast in their demand for 12 measures of drums. now, i don’t mind something that’s integral with the music itself, a drum fill or beat that enhances the song or something that helps transitions a part to the next section but 12 measures is asking too much …. from me as well as the people that have to listen to me! it was tough during rehearsal last week, trying to come up with something interesting as well as something that gradually gained momentum that would carry into the initial “true” intro of the song. mine felt more like disjointed drum fill ideas pasted together haphazardly. it definitely made me appreciate more how drummers like Neil Peart and Carl Palmer can carry on for fifteen minutes or more. i can probably run through my standard bag of ideas and motifs in about two minutes tops. that kinda gives you an taste of how much i practice at home. zilch. nada. nunca. and these “12 measures” almost made me break my long running streak. *almost*. with two little boys running around the house *plus* a lil’ seven month old, having a drum set at home is just not a good idea. so how did i do sunday? well, let’s just say my brain is still trying desperately to deaden reality, spinning a web of denial and shooting out endorphins left and right to ease the pain. i basically held my breath and hacked my way through it. and now i don’t really recall what i actually played. at least it wasn’t a massive train wreck where it’d stop the song dead in its tracks. that’s a “positive”, isn’t it? i’ve asked a couple of people and they all said “it was fine” but how am i ever supposed to know if they’re just saying that to appease me or if it’s something they actually thought was OK. whatever. it’s done. it’s over. i’m not gonna worry about it. …i have to admit that it did “stretch” me in terms of my abilities and … maybe my next solo won’t be so bad. :P well, at least no one threw any eggs at me … not that it’d matter that much since i have a plexiglass shield around the drum kit. heh.

my little pony…

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yes, went to another pig-pickin’ this past weekend. it must sound like i live wwaaayy out in the country with all the pig-pickins i’ve been to recently but hey… just pass me that plate full of Eastern Carolina style BBQ and i won’t care what ya think.the cookout was over at one of my co-worker’s farm way out in Johnston county where she’s got horses as well as miniature ponies. That meant tons-of-fun for the kiddies. Ethan and Alec had a blast. Truthfully, I’ll admit that i didn’t really feel like hanging out on a saturday with folks that i see during the workday (in fact, i was a big grump that day. i’m sure my colleagues didn’t really appreciate me just standing around with my dark shades on not being social and all …but hey i was just there for the food, alright? is that so wrong?) but it was all worth it seeing the kids having a blast riding the ponies and horses. click here for more photos.i really need an attitude adjustment. really. i do. and i *know* this. at this rate, i’m gonna end up a lonely ol’ man sitting on a rickety ol’ rocking chair with no one to talk to. i can blame my parents for raising me up as an only child but it won’t do me any good. i have to start breakin’ down this *wall* i have around me before its too late.

Note to self:
If I want more peace in the world
Then I must make peace with myself
If I want more trust in the world
Then I’ve got to trust in myself
If I want more love in the world
I must show more love to myself
because I want to change the world
I want to make it well
How can I change the world if I can’t change myself?

-Todd Rundgren

the best part of my weekend….

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…was when Ashlee Simpson crashed and burned on SNL. Yes my weekend was THAT lame and uneventful so please be a dear and send some sympathy my way …. yikes! and now i just spilled coffee all over my keyboard. wonderful. yup, it’s a monday. so, where was i…[wiping off the coffee…]oipwerp[i[p[[]oiiewwerlkljlkjl;;;;;adfsdfoh,
yes Ashlee.i’ve always said that she had no talent and this definitely clears things up for the tone-deaf. since i’m a part-time amateur musician-hack i’ve got some issues with this.here are my questions/thoughts:-why in the world does she need a “guide-vocal” to beef up her vocals??? she’s not doing any intricate dance moves (except that awful jig) and the vocal lines aren’t of the Mariah Carey range-defying variety? explanation: no talent.-why couldn’t the band just stop and just start the correct song? i’m thinking that since they play against a pre-programmed “click-track/guide vocal” they were essentially puppets, slave to the backing track and couldn’t change the song even if they wanted to.-with all those people around, didn’t at least one of them know that “Pieces of Me” was already performed earlier in the evening? looking at the band members faces, it appears that they were clueless. and who’s the dope controlling the backing track? explanation: they were all wasted. … or idiots, take your pick.-and why does SNL continue to bring on these no talent teeny boppers? my wishful thinking is that SNL planned this all along. you know, like a conspiracy to nip her career in the bud before it’s too late. Sort of how Sinead O’Connor’s career plummeted to obscurity after her appearance in SNL years ago. Lorne Michaels knew something had to be done to stop this disease otherwise known as Ashlee Simpson before the unsuspecting general public’s taste in music goes from bad to worse. -so, is this going to kill Ashlee’s career? yes, please. please!! for the love of humanity!


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