Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Today is my blog's first birthday. It has been exactly one year since my very first post. Thank you to those of you who have been around from the beginning. I started it as an exercise in writing discipline when Bean's Blog was going dark. At the time, he had mentioned how difficult it was to do it every day, just to make the commitment to post something interesting every single day. Bean's Blog was FAR more informative and entertaining than mine, so I know he did much more work than I do, and I am here a year later to confirm that it is definitely a pain in the ass to post sometimes. Especially on days when nothing interested has happened and I feel like I have nothing to say. Yet somehow, except for the 30 days I was out of the country, I posted every single day, culminating in this 351st post. For the handful of you who come back day after day, I hope it has been worth it.

It's also Wally Wednesday here at Da Blog, which means a photo of my adorable labrador, Wally. We went on a small hike behind the Rose Bowl this afternoon with Madeline and her Great Dane, Mobay. There's a small stream at the back which has accumulated some depth. Wally knows right where the water is and always runs to it when we get close. We encountered two adorable labs already there - one chocolate and one black. Labs are absolutely the best dogs to play with in the water.

Guitar Hero notes for the day: Easiest Band - Weezer / Hardest Band - Santana

The song of the day is "Take a Look Around" by Limp Bizkit off their 2000 album Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water. (Eew...seriously?) However, you probably know it best as the theme song for Mission Impossible II. Don't ask me why I like this song. There are so many reasons for me NOT to like it, starting with my general dislike for both Limp Bizkit (including the oh-so-hip alternative spelling) and everything Fred Durst, compounded with my complete hatred of Tom Cruise who stars in the film. And yet somehow, I find this song particularly catchy, including the integration of the old Mission Impossible theme music as a guitar riff. If you've never heard it, check it out here:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'm sure it won't surprise you to hear I was almost late for work today because I got caught up playing Guitar Hero. It's pretty addictive, like any video game, and you always find yourself saying, "Just one more!" I'm fairly comfortable with the Easy level so far, and feel a little weird to have discovered the easiest song for me because it was so familiar to me wasn't Pat Benetar, Cream, or Heart. It was Poison. And I don't even LIKE hair bands! Sigh. I guess this is where the truth comes unburied.

Today is my Friday. It's probably safe to say I'll be doing nothing but sitting in my house this "weekend" playing Guitar Hero, but I'm going to try to actually get out. I do have some errands to run and would like to get a mountain bike ride in there somewhere. Although I do have a date with my neighbor tomorrow to play. And...well...tomorrow night with another friend. But, I swear, I'm going to get out of the house! (Cut to me next week, dirty clothes, no food in the house, eyes blurry and red, playing Guitar Hero STILL).

The song of the day is "Shimmer" by Fuel off their 1998 debut album Sunburn. I really liked this song from the first time I heard it and have continued to like much of the band's other music. I believe this is the first song that brought them any commercial success.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I went to bed around 1am last night, and somehow slept until 11:30am today. Wally's bladder must have been about to burst! I wonder why he never wakes me up to go out. At any rate, because I woke up so late and have to work tonight, I got pretty much nothing accomplished - ran to the post office, ran to the pet store, took care of some bills, and here I am looking at expensive houses in places I will never live. One of the fun parts about working on the shows I work on is getting to see what other people have done with their houses, and to see what the architecture looks like in other cities. For example, Boise has no character. At all. Every house looks like a tract house. Houses in Phoenix and Las Vegas aren't terribly interesting, but I like the outdoor living that comes with the warmer environments. Today, the show I'm working on takes place in Key West, along with Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach seems sort of boring, your usual white collar country club member's vacation at the beach. Key West looks much more interesting, and the houses are small but very cool. They're all old little cottages with cool hard word floors and island coloring throughout.

The song of the day is "Down In It" by Nine Inch Nails off their (their or his?) 1989 debut album Pretty Hate Machine. When someone loaned me a copy of this CD right after it first came out, I thought I'd never heard anything like it. I didn't completely appreciate it right off, but came to love this album and pretty much every song on it. I've never been as happy with any of Reznor's other releases, but I still enjoy listening to this disc all the way through.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Kings game last night was a lot of fun, especially since the Kings won 4-1. I went with my friends Dean and Jeff (who play on the Red Menace) and two of Jeff's friends from Canada who came down for the weekend just to see the Oilers play at L.A. and Anaheim. The three of them all wore Oilers jerseys. Needless to say, they were disappointed with the outcome of the game. Here's a photo of Dean and Jeff (Dean on the left) after the Kings scored an impossible 3rd goal where Anze Kopitar banked a shot in off the Oilers' goalie's skate in a small gap between the skate and the post. I wasn't able to pull my camera out quick enough to get Jeff while he was pinching the bridge of his nose, shaking his head. Can you tell who is happy (maniacal?) and who is not in this pic?

There were quite a few Oilers fans in attendance, and at some point, someone gave Jeff's friends 100 level admittance so they could see the game from closer up. Afterward, they all met up outside Staples Center at the Wayne Gretzky statue to get their photo taken with The Great One who once played for the Oilers and then left to come to Los Angeles. One of the Canadians explained in detail how the whole city of Edmonton had gone through the 5 stages of grief when he left the city, including disappointment and utter shock. When Gretzky came to Los Angeles, his popularity had a huge impact on the growth of youth hockey in Southern California, and even today, if you stand there before the game, you can watch numerous kids stop by the statue on their way into the arena to compulsively touch the statue for luck. Maybe all the Oilers fans should have visited the statue BEFORE the game.

The song of the day is "Three Strange Days" by School of Fish off their 1991 self-titled debut album. This was the most popular song for the band, who would only record one other album and then break up. I'm not sure how I ever heard this while growing up in the Northwest where we didn't have anything like KROQ. But for some reason, I always thought this is what Paul McCartney would sound like if he was a young alternative rocker in the 90s. Listen to this song with your eyes closed and see if you agree. Of course, I could just be crazy.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I had a women's league game last night. We've been on a little winning streak since our weak start at the beginning of the season. We're in first place right now, but have played one more game than everyone else, so I'm not sure how the points will ultimately even out. At any rate, since there's only 5 teams that are fairly even in skill level, it's easy to be almost last one week and in first place the next. This week, we played a team that was in 4th, but that have one decent ringer who used to play on our team. She cherry picked all game and scored their only three goals. We had a horrible first period and at one point, were 3 goals behind. We ultimately came back to tie it up with no one scoring in overtime. Unlike the NHL, our games can end in a tie. I did have once nice goal where I probably looked like I actually knew what I was doing. One of the opposing Center's kept trying to tie me up by jamming her stick up into my crotch which was super pleasant (in Men's league, this is often known as a "cup check"). At one point, the blade of her stick was actually up my hockey pants and I yelped when I felt it cut into my thigh above my socks (that's pretty high up). Now, I have a 5 inch bruise in the shape of a stick blade across my upper thigh. How attractive. I'm sure you've all been wondering why some lucky guy hasn't snatched me up. Here's an example of a rougher cup check:

Oh - I almost forgot about my favorite part of last night. After the game, my goalie skated up to me and said, "Do you wear #11 for Kopitar? Because you skate just like him!" I laughed for 5 minutes. I'm sure my skating more resembles Kopitar in the middle of some slow-motion stroke or seizure.

Tonight, I'm off to see the Kings play Edmonton with a friend from hockey (from Edmonton) and some of his Edmonton friends. I wonder if I'll be allowed to cheer for the Kings? To that point, I wonder if the Kings will give me anything to cheer about?

The song of the day is "Prophesy" by Remy Zero off their 1998 sophomore release Villa Elaine. This band has a great sound, and it's too bade they broke up after only three albums. I try to forgive them the fact that one of the members was once married to Alyssa Milano.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Daniel Dae Kim, who plays Jin on "Lost," was arrested the other night for drunken driving on the island of Oahu where the television show is lost. Kim is the 4th actor from the series to have been arrested since the show began shooting there in 2004. First off, is there nothing else to do on the island but drink and drive? Secondly, I hope they don't kill his character off as they did with the other three actors. I sort of like Jin and it would be a shame to see him go.

Apple's new OS Leopard is officially available today. I watched the guided tour on the Apple web site and it looks pretty cool, like everything Apple. They sure know how to dress something up and make it look pretty so you want to buy it (like the iPod). I got an e-mail invitation to a little shindig they're throwing for the release at the local Apple store, and am actually bummed that I have a hockey game and can't attend. (On a side note, do you think it says something about the influence of Apple in my life that I always think of the pancake restaurant as iHop?)

The song of the day is "Joey" by Concrete Blonde off their 1990 album Bloodletting. For me, this is the most memorable of their songs, though I appreciate some of the others as well. This song was the most commercially successful for this alternative rock band. Johnette Napolitano has a great voice.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Whoo-hoo! I got e-mail notification that my Guitar Hero III bundle shipped today for my Wii. Since this is the game I bought the console for in the first place, I'm eager to get it and lock myself away for a few hours while I reacquaint myself with a guitar - even if it is a fake plastic one with no strings. I only hope they eventually release a version with nothing but 80s music on it. Then I can die a happy woman.

The song of the day is "Closing Time" by Semisonic off their 1998 album Feeling Strangely Fine. I loved the song when it came out and bought the CD, which I only remember as being non-impressive. Maybe I should pull it out and give it another listen. (I've always wanted to go through and count how many CDs I've bought that I only listened to once or twice). The band uses the old adage "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here" given by bartenders upon closing. For some reason, I always think of this song when we've played the late game at the rink, because when we get off the ice, nearly all the lights are shut off in the whole facility and they just want us to get dressed and go home.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wally and I took a walk into Old Town today, which is known for being fairly dog friendly. We were welcomed in the Vans store where I needed to exchange a gift I bought my nephew yesterday. We were also more than welcome in Lush. Our last stop was the Three Dog Bakery, Wally's favorite place in all of Old Town. For those of you who have never been, it's a dog bakery where they make things for dogs that look really good, like brownies and eclairs and stuff. Here he is trying to decide what he wants from the display case. Would he have Scary Kitties? Or perhaps a Labrador Loaf? As it turns out, he wanted both.

Lately, Wally has been balking over getting into my car. He hops up readily to go for a ride, but whenever it's time to go home, whether it's in a parking lot in Old Town or the parking lot at work at 1am, he just doesn't want to get in. He sits down, lays down, won't let me lift him, and no amount of cajoling will get him into the car - not even treats. I can't figure out if he's getting older and it's harder for him to get in the car? Or if he's just being truculent and stubborn. Either way, I need to figure out how to fix the problem.

The song of the day is "Cherry Pie" by Warrant off their 1990 album of the same name. I'd like to point out here that I've never liked many hair bands, especially not Warrant, and very especially not this song. Why use it as the song of the day then, you ask? Last Saturday, I was carpooling to my hockey game with Jeff and Dean (my usual car pool buddies) and a new guy on the team, Ryan. Ryan is about 15 years younger than us. He's a kid, right out of college, and I can only imagine how boring it is for him to carpool with old people like us. So we're in the car and his phone rings. He picks it up before even a whole bar had gone by and Dean and I both look at each other and say, "Was that 'Cherry Pie'?" Ryan said that it was. I told him he wasn't nearly old enough to remember Warrant, and he said, "No - I really like those old hair bands." When I was young and in school I liked music from 20 years earlier, too, but THAT music was The Beatles. It's sad to think that any kid now who likes music from 20 years ago has a good chance, like Ryan, of being influenced by hair bands. At least I had the chance to be influenced by something great. I weep for the future. Sniff.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Today is my Saturday. I went into Old Town looking for birthday presents for my soon-to-be 18-year-old nephews. It was really hot out today, especially considering the fact that it had been cooling off and starting to feel like fall. The last few days have been warm, but it was 91 when I was walking around today. A friend called and we were thinking of mountain biking later in the afternoon, but as the day wore on, the sky got more and more smoky and the air thicker from the fires around the county. We decided biking in the Angeles Forest might not be a good idea right now. (The photo was taken on Sunday morning on the beach in Malibu).

I haven't felt like doing much in the heat, and with the air thick and a little smoky, I'm starting to get a headache. Several years ago I was living in Tujunga when we had fires like this and they were close enough that I could see the haze of the blaze on the horizon and ash fell through the air. It's a horrible feeling, the headache you get from that. It's not as bad this time, as the closest fire is around 25 miles away. Hopefully, they can get more of the blazes under control in the next couple of days. For now, I'm sitting at home having a bit of a Wonderfalls marathon on DVD. Those of you enjoying Pushing Daisies might enjoy watching this, as one of the secondary characters is none other than Lee Pace. Thanks James for the heads up on both these fantastic shows.

The song of the day is "Smoke On the Water" by Deep Purple off their 1972 album Machine Head. I was a far too young to ever appreciate this band, but that didn't stop me from learning to play the riff to this song on the guitar when I was 13 (along with other classic guitar songs like "Stairway to Heaven"). I could probably still pick it out on the strings. Hey! Maybe it will be on the Guitar Hero III I'll be getting in the next few weeks!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Since my hockey games the last couple of weeks have been at 11:15 pm (too late for me to go out to eat afterwards), I've been craving pancakes. So yesterday evening, two of my team mates and I went to the local IHOP where I ordered the new strawberry/banana pancakes and proceeded to eat enough that, when mixed with a couple of diet cokes in my belly, made me feel like I would never need to eat again. I thought my pancakes were big, but Dean's chocolate chip pancakes were bigger than his head and he couldn't even get through them.

The city around me is on fire. Malibu, Canyon Country, just about everywhere outside the city proper is ablaze. As the sun went down last night, I could see the red smoky horizon that hung over Malibu. This happens every summer, when it's dry and warm and windy, but it seems much worse this year. You can click HERE to see a current map of the fires in and around Los Angeles County along with data such as structures destroyed and firemen on site.

The song of the day is "Highway To Hell" by AC/DC off their 1979 album of the same name. It sure feels like hell here (more than it usually does) with the flames on every horizon. When I saw Billy Joel in concert a few years ago, he brought one of his roadies on stage and let him sing this song. It was pretty impressive, not just the roadie's singing, but seeing an aging Joel running across the stage playing the guitar for this song.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

We won our game last night and are now 5-0 for the season. Yes, I did get more high powered chocolate from the ref, and yes, I did score a goal. Every game we've played this season has ended with us having scored 7 goals. Every single game. Now, James (our Captain) is obsessed with getting 7 goals every game. With less than 30 seconds left last night, we had 6 goals and the puck in front of the net in the offensive zone. James kept frantically hacking at the puck in front of the goalie until it popped into the net, leaving us with out lucky numbered score. Coincidentally, we only had 7 skaters last night, too. In case you're wondering, that's at least 3 skaters short, so it was a long game with shifts sometimes as long as 9-10 minutes. My legs still feel tired.

Whenever I discover a writer I've never read before, and find that I enjoy their work, I tend to go on a bit of a spree, reading whatever I can get my hands on for that specific writer. Such has been the case for me recently with Jon Krakauer. It started when I read Under the Banner of Heaven, a non-fiction account of Morman Fundamentalism, which a friend recommended I read when I became fascinated with the show Big Love. Next, I picked up Into Thin Air, Krakauer's first hand account of the Mount Everest disaster of 1996 in which 8 climbers perished during the descent on a single night in May of that year. I was completely enthralled with Krakauer's account. Until you read what happens to the body when climbing to heights over 28,000 feet, you can't possibly imagine what Everest climbers endure to complete such an ascent. I felt amazed at the climbers' experiences, and saddened by the eventual result of the disaster that claimed so many lives. If you're one of the few people like me who actually hadn't read the book, despite its spot on the best seller list for ages when it was released, I highly recommend it. You'll never view high altitude mountaineering in the same light ever again.

The song of the day is "Crazy" by Seal off his 1991 self-titled debut album (not to be confused with his 1994 self-titled album). When this song first came out, I absolutely could not stop listening to it. And while I've never been as interested in any other song he's released to date, I still enjoy hearing this song, especially at night on a long road trip.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Those of you who read last week's account of my Friday night game should know I showed up last night much better prepared to play a game of hockey. My skates were sharp, I had a brand new stick, I'd eaten, and I even brought Propel AND sports beans to keep my electrolytes up. Yet for some reason, this didn't stop me from feeling tired and fatigued right from the start of the game. I thought I was in for a replay of the previous week.

I was in just this tired, shaky shape on the bench halfway through the first when one of the refs, Jeff Gardner, handed me a bite size piece of dark chocolate with a coffee center. He said, "That should be good for at least a goal," as I popped it into my mouth. I thought nothing could really hurt at that point. A moment later, we did a line change. I hopped over the boards, picked someone's pocket, and broke away with the puck, nearly scoring a goal. Shortly thereafter, I noticed my energy level had soared. I wasn't nearly as fatigued, and I went on to score a goal and two assists, a three point game.

You might be wondering to yourself why a referee would have a pocket full of chocolate in the middle of a hockey game. As it turns out, Gardner is a chocolatier in his real life, and often has samples of whatever he's put together the night before. He owns his own company, Marsatta, which makes high end chocolates. Marsatta chocolates can be found in numerous stores, and bought on his web site. I didn't see the chocolate/coffee bite he handed me last night there, so I'll have to find out more. Considering the superstition of athletes, don't be surprised if I find the need to pop one into my mouth before every game forever after.

The song of the day is "My World" by Sick Puppies off their 2007 release Dressed Up As Life. I picked up the disc by this Australian band when I was in Melbourne over the summer (although you can certainly get it here now). The more I listen to it, the more I love it. I keep thinking I've heard some of their stuff on KROQ, but don't see them on their web site. At any rate, really great CD and this is a great song. And for you guys, they have a pretty hot female bassist (at least according to the YouTube comments), so you should at least enjoy watching the video.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A friend on one of my hockey teams is helping to organize a charity hockey event. I've heard of the event in previous years, and was interested to discover she was helping to recruit celebrities for it. It's called Freeze the Disease, and the proceeds will go toward Cystic Fibrosis research. The event is a celebrity hockey game which will precede the Kings/Sharks game on November 3 at 2m in the Staples Center. All tickets for the celebrity event are in the lower concourse on a first come first serve basis. If you're interested in seeing David Boreanaz, Scott Grimes, Barry Josephson or Michael Vartan play hockey, along with NHL alums like Luc Robitaille (and yes, Dave Coulier will be there, too), go here and buy tickets.

The song of the day is "Funky Town" by Pseudo Echo off their 1986 album Love An Adventure. I hated the original Lipps, Inc. version of this song, but always loved the Pseudo Echo version. In fact, I own this cassette and it's actually pretty decent. Too bad I don't have anything to play it in anymore. If you've forgotten this 80s remake, here it is:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I mentioned in a previous post what it feels like to ice skate when the blades on your skates are dull - there's so much friction between your blades and the ice that you slow down, similar to skating on uncleaned ice which has a lot of snow on it. For a long time, I thought that sharpness was the only thing that made you move smoothly and quickly across the ice. But then I bought a piece synthetic ice and read how it's actually the minute bit of water between your blades and the ice that helps create smooth, fluid motion (the synthetic ice uses liquid from a bottle to mimic the feeling of real ice). Building off this process, Manufacturer Therma Blade Inc. of Verdun, Quebec has invented blades that are heated to 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit), thus increasing the amount of water between the blades and the ice just enough to increase the speed without bogging down the skater in water. The skates reportedly cut the friction between the blades and the ice by 50%. 8 NHL players are set to run trials of the skates next month so that the NHL can monitor the results and determine if the blades will be used in future NHL games. I hope they gave some to the Kings - after watching their slow as molasses performance the other night, I think they might need something to speed the team up.

I just started to watch tonight's The Office on Tivo (yay east coast feed!). I thought this show used to be 30 minutes long. Did I miss something? I figured it had gone to an hour for the season premiere, but now they all seem to be an hour long. Tell me I'm not losing my mind - it used to be 30 minutes, right?

The song of the day is "Semi Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind off band's 1997 self-titled debut album. I can't completely understand all the words, but from the first moment I heard this song, I was completely hooked. If I remember right, this was a decent freshman release, and I wonder why I haven't heard much from the band other than a few hardly hits.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Surprisingly, the Kings won the game I went to last night. It was surprising because they were playing Minnesota who (I believe) was 5-0, and also because the Kings hadn't won a single game since the one they won in England at the beginning of the season. The game was tied at the end of regulation and no one scored during the 4 on 4 five minute overtime. In the shootout, all three Kings scored off the bat, with Anze Kopitar putting the final puck in the net.

Did you hear that? It's the sound of angels singing that I heard when I entered Hockey Giant in Anaheim earlier today in search of a new stick. There were about 6 aisles of sticks that looked like this so it's like heaven in that you have so many to choose from. I hate buying new sticks. I get really used to my regular stick and when it breaks, it's always hard to find a perfect replacement. I usually take the old stick with me to find one with matching weight and curve of the blade. Unfortunately, though I still had my broken stick, it had broken across the middle of the blade which made it difficult to measure against other sticks. I finally settled on another Bauer for only $100 (I was happy, since I'd expected to spend $150). Boy, I hope I like it. There's no returning a stick once you've cut it, taped it, and used it. I was quite proud of myself for not only coming in below my stick budget, but for getting out of the store before I spent another $100 on things I really don't need.

I forgot earlier, but managed to remember before the day was through. Welcome to Wally Wednesday! Here's my sweet little guy after waking up from a nap earlier in the week.

The song of the day is "Only the Good Die Young" by Billy Joel off his 1977 album The Stranger. Great album and great song. This has long been one of my favored Joel songs, although over the years, I often waffle between certain songs. If you ever have the chance to see Joel perform, he still puts on a fantastic show, and you'll find it difficult to pick when you should run out to the restroom.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's a dreary day here in Southern California. I had many things planned to do today, which is my Saturday, but I just never seemed to get around to any of them. I'd hoped to get out for a mountain bike ride, and then go in search of a new hockey stick since I broke mine the other night. Unfortunately, my day was off right from the start because I didn't wake up until 11am. By the time I ate, caught up on some Tivo, and threw my arm out playing Wii Bowling (I am so lame), it was too late to do either. I did manage to relist my dining room table on Craigslist and already got a response, and listed a deck I've been wanting to sell on eBay. (I've gotta pay for that stick somehow!) At least I have a Kings game to go to tonight. It's the first game for me this season so I'm happy to go, even if the team and the seats both suck.

The song of the day is "Juke Box Hero" by Foreigner off their 1983 album 4. I've always loved the story in this song of a young man hoping to become a big rock star. I forgot how many songs the band has had until I looked them up. A greatest hits record is highly recommended, and if you like their early work, I strongly suggest Records which is a great compilation.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I finally had time to bust my Wii out of its box last night and played for about 4 hours straight with my friend, Jon, with a short break for food and to run out and buy a 2nd controller. The only game I have right now is the sports pack that comes with the console. It includes bowling, boxing, tennis, golf and baseball. We tried out bowling, boxing and tennis last night. I have to admit, the boxing is quite a work out and before long I was covered in sweat and my arms were shaky (they're actually sore today). The tennis was fun and also quite a work out. We then wound down the night with several games of bowling, which it turns out I am equally bad at in virtual reality. One of the parts of the game was a fitness test. It runs you through all the games and has you do a series of tests to determine your "fitness age" (I believe it was). After completing the series of tests, my fitness age was determined to be 48. At the bottom of the screen the Wii said, "Well done!" Apparently, the Wii thinks I am a senior citizen. Also, am I the only one who thinks the Wii boxing opponent looks like Jesus from Southpark?

The song of the day is "Turning Japanese" by the Vapors off their 1980 debut album New Clear Days. It's amazing how catchy this song still is (I heard it on JACK-FM yesterday and was instantly singing along). Sadly, if this song were released today, I'm sure a multitude of Asian advocacy groups would be all up in arms over the subject of the song. Luckily, it was released at a time when it was a-ok to be politically incorrect. Man, I miss the 80s.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Seen on the marquee outside of Shakey's in Manhattan Beach this weekend: "Look kids, Big Ben...Parliament!"

Friends with the last name of Roberts are pregnant with a boy. The name they have jokingly bandied about? Dread Pirate Roberts.

If you know the references for both of these phrases, you win extra geeky bonus points.

I heard a song on the radio today that I thought was of the newer variety. I thought, "Boy! They sound a lot like Queen!" I Googled the song title was Queen. I guess they still sound fresh today! Therefore, the song of the day is "You're My Best Friend" by Queen off their 1975 album A Night at the Opera. Am I the only one who is reminded of the theme song to Courtship of Eddie's Father every time I hear this song?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I couldn't have been less prepared to play hockey last night had I tried. First of all, I had to rush home from work to meet my carpooling team mate just to make it to the game on time, so by the time I got to the rink, I hadn't eaten since lunch around noon and our game was at 8pm. Once I hit the ice, I remembered the exposed metal I had stepped on on the bench the previous week, which had dulled my skates making it feel like the ice had never been cleaned. In other words, I was tired and hungry (shaking actually because my blood sugar was low) and wearing dull skates. Early in the first period, I was chasing someone who pulled up remarkably short (impressive, really) and sent me flying into the boards feet first. In the second period, I nearly speared myself with my own stick when I went into the boards with it and broke it - my favorite stick, by the way. I felt like I was moving in horrible slow motion the entire game. Finally, in the last minute of the game, I finally scored a goal for the season. Can it be counted as the "game winning goal" if you're already up 4-2? At any rate, I'm trying to be better prepared for my other game tonight - food is in stomach, skates have been sharpened, but I'll have to do the best I can with my back up stick.

Walking past the televisions in the lobby at work today, I noticed Witness was on, and it was in the middle of my favorite scene. Early in the first act, John Book (Harrison Ford) has the young Amish boy in the police station when the boy sees a photo of the chief of police in a newspaper clipping on the wall. The boy catches Book's eye, and in a scene devoid of dialogue, easily sets the intense tone for the rest of the film. Ford has long been one of my favorite actors (I fell in love with him as a child when I saw him as Han Solo), and seeing that scene reminded me how much I love that movie.

The song of the day is "(What A) Wonderful World" by Sam Cooke off his 1960 self titled album. I came to appreciate took because of this scene in the film where Harrison Ford sings along to it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I just realized that my post for October 9th came and went without receiving a single comment. That must have been a seriously boring day.

Blind dog Ray Charles went in for his eye surgery today. Unfortunately, it didn't go as planned. If you remember, Ray was completely blinded in one eye that had horrible Glaucoma, and was partially blind in the second eye. The surgery was to fix his eyelid on that eye to hopefully increase his very limited vision. The surgeon determined this morning that the Glaucoma had gotten too bad in the one eye, causing serious pressure equivalent to a permanent Migraine headache for Ray, and they had to remove it. Additionally, when they ran a retina scan this morning to see how much vision he had in the other eye, they realized he is already blind in that eye as well so they didn't perform the rest of the surgery. Now it will be even harder for Ray to get adopted. My friend, Dani, who has been fostering the dog called her husband to give him the news. Jon has become quite attached to little Ray Charles, and it looks like they will end up adopting him if no one else can take him. Raising Ray will be quite a challenge, and my heart goes out to her for taking him in.

On the up side, look what was on my doorstep when I got home! That's's all about ME.

The song of the day is "Plastic Jesus" by Billy Idol off his 2005 album Devil's Playground. However, the reason I know the song is because it was used in the 2005 film Crash and became part of what is an excellent soundtrack. If you haven't heard his version of the song, here it is:

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Seen on the net today, this interesting article in News Scientist on what it feels like to die in different ways. From the top of the article, "

Death comes in many guises, but one way or another it is usually a lack of oxygen to the brain that delivers the coup de grĂ¢ce. Whether as a result of a heart attack, drowning or suffocation, for example, people ultimately die because their neurons are deprived of oxygen, leading to cessation of electrical activity in the brain - the modern definition of biological death.

If the flow of freshly oxygenated blood to the brain is stopped, through whatever mechanism, people tend to have about 10 seconds before losing consciousness. They may take many more minutes to die, though, with the exact mode of death affecting the subtleties of the final experience." Here are a couple of highlights:

Drowning: "There is a feeling of tearing and a burning sensation in the chest as water goes down into the airway. Then that sort of slips into a feeling of calmness and tranquility."

Decapitation: "Beheading, if somewhat gruesome, can be one of the quickest and least painful ways to die - so long as the executioner is skilled, his blade sharp, and the condemned sits still."

And if you find this article interesting, I highly recommend you read Stiff by Mary Roach.

The song of the day is "Little Black Backpack" by Stroke 9 off their 1999 album Nasty Little Thoughts. I heard this song on KROQ a couple of times and liked it enough to buy the CD which was surprisingly good through and through. It still finds its way into my car now and then. Unfortunately, the band never fared well and were dropped by Universal Music after their follow up album and are now releasing records independently. If you've never heard it, you can listen to it here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that they can quickly figure out certain keywords, especially when they pertain to a joyous feeling. This is why I have to spell out certain words if I'm talking to another human present, such as F-E-T-C-H or T-R-E-A-T, or I feel obliged to follow through on the statement for Wally. One of his big words has always been O-U-T-S-I-D-E. It doesn't matter when or how many times you say it, Wally always wants to go out - out to play, out to the car, out for a walk, out to the beach - he doesn't care. For him, Out is heaven. So when I say, "Wally...wanna go outside?" he freaks out and hops up and down, barely able to contain himself. It took a few tries, but I think I managed to capture it on my camera.

The song of the day is "Jeremy" by Pearl Jam off their 1991 debut album Ten. Not only do I really like this song, I really like the video. I always found it to be rather gruesome, even 8 years before Columbine. Watching it on YouTube just now, it seems somewhat tame - did there used to be a bloodier version? To be honest, one of the creepiest things about this video is the odd look on Eddie Vedder's face. Does he always look like that?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Finally...two days off in a row! I would like to say I got up really early today to enjoy my weekend, but the truth is that I totally overslept and didn't get out of bed until nearly 11am. I finally washed my car (I haven't had it washed once since I bought it in February) and also washed my dog, who is now running around naked drying off. This afternoon, a friend and I went for a short mountain bike ride up near JPL. I would have liked to have been out longer, but it was nice to be out at all - I haven't been out on my bike since May, the weekend before I left for Australia.

Tonight I've been catching up on my Tivo, so far 2 1/2 Men, Weeds and Californication. Still need to watch Heroes and everything else that's on there.

Hmm...what to do tomorrow? It's been so long since I had to consecutive days off that I don't have a single idea. Grocery shopping, bill paying, and laundry to start the day I imagine. My life is so very exciting.

The song of the day is "Somebody to Shove" by Soul Asylum off their 1992 album Grave Dancer's Union. Though this was their 7th studio album, I believe this is the first to have been commercially successful for them. Though it featured their much bigger hit "Runaway Train" this is the one I always remember that album for. I prefer the rougher edge to the song.