Thursday, January 31, 2008

Son of a bitch! My new fake Tivo didn't record the season premier of Lost tonight! Can anyone tell me if it was worth watching, or if it was some lame hour long recap of last season? It's the only original programming my Directv DVR has ever seen, so perhaps it was confused? Aargh! Son. Of. A. Bitch!

My only day off this week was today. I didn't even get to sleep in. I had to get up and drive across town to get my hair cut (finally) which hadn't been done since August. My hairdresser jokingly asked if she should just cut off everything but the roots, since my dark roots had gotten VERY long. I kept commenting on it, and most of my female friends would say, "I can't even tell!" Of course, almost all of my female friends are shorter than me. I'd been trying to grow my hair out and hadn't really had much length taken off of it since last May. Every few years I decide I'm going to try to grow my hair out again, and after nearly a year of the awkward in between stage, it gets to a reasonable length and I remember...I don't like to style my hair. So long hair looks like crap on me. I had it all cut off again. Not like crew cut, but you know...shorter. Sigh. I guess long hair just isn't for me.

My friend, John (aka KingsFan) came over tonight. We hadn't gotten to hang out in a long time. We went and saw There Will Be Blood. I hadn't seen a film since Harry Potter last came out, so I was happy to see just about anything. The movie was good - Daniel Day Lewis and Paul Dano were fantastic - but I didn't think it was GREAT. I think I was just let down by the abrupt ending and the way it answer some questions I still had at the end of the film. For anyone who has seen the film - when did D.D. Lewis turn into Sean Connery? Did you hear his accent? I thought one was Irish and the other Scot?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Welcome to Wally Wednesday! Here, Wally waits patiently for the ball, despite Stryder's attempts to distract him.

You may or may not remember this recent post about Wally looting people's offices of doggie treats and toys. Last night, I found him twice chewing on treats. I had to follow him all stealth like and discovered a cache of pig's ears he had found under someone's desk. Today, once office hours closed, I made sure the doors to that office were closed. Still, later in the evening, I came across him chewing on a pig's ear. I realized the janitors had opened up all the offices to vacuum and Wally saw his chance and went for the prize. I don't know what's gotten into him lately!

In completely unrelated news, you are probably unaware that after the death of Austrian pop singer Falco in 1999, a staircase was dedicated to him in his home country. Apparently, the staircase was rather small and insignificant. Well someone, somehow, got the city of San Francisco to re-dedicate the stairs to the famous Coit tower to him as well, so now a dead pop singer has a big staircase. How...? Why...? The mind boggles.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I slept unnecessarily late this morning and didn't get out of bed until around 11:30. That's when I realized I had absolutely no food in the house. I quickly showered, then headed out to get some groceries. My plan was to come home, make something to eat, and spend what little time I had before work on the side project. However, as I was getting ready to work, something made me think of my tax appointment. I always schedule it for the end of January but I didn't see it on my calendar. Additionally, I had never received the prep packet from my accountant in the mail, which usually includes a reminder for the appointment. I called them up to find out when my appointment is and discovered it is THIS SATURDAY! I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon before work adding up receipts and filling out paperwork. I noticed a few things this year:

1) I didn't buy nearly as many books as I used to. I've really slacked off on reading and I don't like it.
2) I seem to have broken my pizza every Friday routine. I did have tons of Friday receipts from the local pizza joint, but not as many as usual.
3) I spent WAY too much money eating out.

Anyone else make any discoveries while preparing for their taxes this year? On the agenda for tomorrow, the DMV. Yay me.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I'm going to Vancouver B.C. for 4 days next month to visit an old friend. I thought while I'm there I'd go up to Cypress Mountain for half a day and snowboard. Since my friend neither skiis nor snowboards, I'm on my own for the day so I'll need to rent a car. I've never rented a car to drive in snowy conditions before and desperately do NOT want to wreck a rental car in the snow. I checked the web site for the mountain and it did mention that snow tires, 4x4, or chains are required. I thought I'd call the Vancouver branch of the rental car company specifically, since they would probably be familiar with the mountain road and understand what I'm asking for. The phone rings and a French-Canadian answers. (I already knew I would have problems). I say, "I'm coming up there next month and need a car to drive into the mountains. Can I rent a tire with snow tires?" The woman, in her I-have-no-time-for-Americans snooty French accent says, "I do not understand what you want." I repeat myself, more slowly this time, "I need to rent a car with SNOW TIRES." The French-Canadian woman sighs. "Ma' want a car with NO TIRES?" At this point, I launch into Angry-American-speaking-to-stupid-French-person mode, speaking slowly and loudly so she can understand: "I'm going to a MOUNTAIN! It will have SNOW ON IT! I need a car with SNOW TIRES to drive in the SNOW!" French-Canadian woman sighs and puts me on hold, never to return. I eventually called the American 1-800 number who informed me chains are not available at the Vancouver branch but the cars all come with all-season tires. Does anyone know what this means? Anyone have experience renting a car to drive in the snow?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Worst. Jerseys. Ever.

No wonder we didn't win a single game.

Hayley and I left Vegas at around 8:30pm last night, directly following our final loss of the tournament. We left with a perfect tally of 3 losses, 0 wins. It started to rain about half an hour outside of town and continued to rain harder and harder all the way home. By the time we got into Los Angeles proper, it was a total downpour. At around 12:30am, Hayley's we pulled into her driveway in Hermosa Beach and her GPS informed us, "Get the fuck out of the car, you're here, bitch!" (You can program your own messages in, obviously). I then headed all the way back to Pasadena on my own. It was pouring harder than ever. I have an all wheel drive car and grew up in the Pacific Northwest, so I was doing fine at about 50mph. However, I drove by several wrecks and saw numerous people nearly lose control of their vehicles. Coming up the 2, I saw a guy in a truck go into a flatspin all the way across the freeway, manage not to hit anything, right himself and drive on, without even pulling over to gather his senses or change his shorts. Wally was happy to see me home and even happier to play all day outside in the deluge.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Have you ever heard of a company called Clean Flix? You may remember hearing about them in the news about a year or so ago. Clean Flix is a Utah based company that re-edits films to take out the "dirty" parts (ie. Kate Winslet's breasts in Titanic) and resells them as "clean" family friendly versions. In 2006, the company came under fire by Hollywood studios and the Director's Guild of America as violating copyright infringement. I guess it should come as no surprise, then, that two of the guys running Clean Flix were arrested this week - wait for it - for having sex with 14-year-old girls. Karma can be such a cool thing.

We have one more game to go today, but since we won't make it into the finals, we've decided to drive back home tonight. I saw the Bellagio fountains - I'm done with Vegas.

Friday, January 25, 2008

First of all, worst. hotel. ever. We're staying at the Extended Stay, quite off the strip, because a friend of Hayley's (the person who put the team together) got a deal there (nearly free for us). We were all three supposed to be staying here, but she ended up going to stay with someone else, so it's just Hayley and I. The beds are uncomfortable. Not quite as bad as the ones in Darwin where the springs would pop up when I rolled over, but nearly. Secondly, the heater blows hot, dry air into the room and by morning, I felt as if I'd been in a dehydrator. Thirdly, you can REALLY hear the people around us. I think there is a giant in the room above us who woke up around 6am to do calisthenics.

Now to the tournament. Our first game was at 9:15 this morning. Our team has come from all over the country and Canada so no one has played together as a full team, ever. And as it turns out, some of the women on our team actually hadn't played at ALL recently until this tournament. That said, we totally outplayed the first team and scored first. Unfortunately, they had three, quick unanswered goals in the second period that we never recovered from. Despite completely outskating them (other than those three horrible minutes), we lost 2-4.

On our way back to the hotel to shower and head to lunch, we saw the fire at the Monte Carlo hotel. It made traffic on the strip a giant pain in the ass. We had lunch at the Stratosphere then went back to the rink only to discover they were now running an hour behind and our game didn't start until after 5. The second team did outskate us, and despite the two goals that Hayley and I put on the board, we lost 2-6. We have one more game tomorrow, but that's it for us. We can't make it to the finals round with two losses. Hayley and I are actually looking forward to leaving a day early. While it's been fun for the two of us to hang out, the experience with this particular team has been a little less than gratifying.

Our last game isn't until 6pm tomorrow, so we're off to do some shopping and check out the Wynn, which we hear is pretty cool.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Here I am, in Vegas for the first time in over 10 years. The last time I was here, they had just begun construction on New York, New York so you know it's been awhile. The drive out didn't seem nearly as long as usual because my friend and co-worker Haley was in the car with me, and Haley can talk your ear off (in a good way). We looked longingly at all the snow in the mountains as we passed Wrightwood, wishing we had brought our snowboards with us to stop for a few hours. At a certain point, the snow level was all the way down to the freeway and snow lined both sides of the roadway. It even snowed for about 3 minutes, lightly, before the snow covered groound turned into Joshua trees and desert scrub. The last time I passed the World's Tallest Thermometer in Baker, it was 124 degrees out. This time, it was 54.

Apparently, our team has players coming from all over the place. Most of the team is from Houston, Hayley and I are from SoCal, someone is coming from Halifax and someone else came from South Carolina. I wish we had time to get out on the ice and meet and play together for an hour before it's game time, but that won't be happening. Oddly, we have no games today, but have two tomorrow. There's nothing worse than putting on wet equipment and playing two games in the same day.

OK - off to have dinner with Hayley's in-laws who live in town. TGI-Friday's - whoo-hoo!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I have to figure out how to set my new camera to fast-moving-dog mode so it's not so blurry, but as you can see, Wally is having a happy day because of the rain.

I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off all day, trying to get ready to go to Vegas for the hockey tournament tomorrow. I needed to get my oil changed because it's past due and I thought it would be wise, since I'm driving. I went to the gas station and even attempted to vacuum the dog hair out of my car but the vacuum wasn't working. I'll have to try to find another one tomorrow before I leave. Add to that laundry, packing, etc. Did I mention that the jerseys for my tournament team are pink? PINK??? Between the black socks they want us to wear, my blue pants, pink jersey and red helmet, I am going to look like a Valentine's Day card. The team jerseys are based on the team rep's idea of the Legends of Hockey, so they're all numbers of...of legends. I wear #11 and I feel a little out of place without that number, so I've ended up with Messier's jersey. I think it actually has his name on the back. I guess there are worse jerseys I could wear. The girls on this team are all buddies and party girls (help me) and the rep has assigned nicknames for all the players. Since I only know one person on the team, I have somehow been labeled "Cali Girl" (PLEASE help me). It should be an interesting weekend.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Celebrities seem to be dropping like flies this year. Suzanne Pleshette was 70, and Sir Edmund Hillary was 88. But even the young ones are going away. Brad Renfro was only 25 when he was discovered dead. And now, Heath Ledger, star of films such as "Brokeback Mountain", dead at only 28 from an apparent drug overdose. He was discovered today in his Manhattan apartment by a house keeper. It seems sad when anyone dies, but even more so when they are so very young. I think if I was a celebrity (of any age), I'd be laying low for the rest of 2008.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I'd like to say I did something cool with the holiday day off, but all I did was sleep. I took a Bendryl before I went to sleep last night to stop the runny nose, and I ended up sleeping until 1pm. I got up when I heard my maid come in the front door. I watched TV while she was here thinking once she left and the noise died down, I'd take a shower and work on the side project. As soon as she left, I headed upstairs to do just that and thought, "I think I'll just lay down for a minute before I take a shower." The next thing I knew, it was dark out and nearly 6 o'clock. I feel better now, but hope I'm not up all night because of all the sleeping. I just hope this cold doesn't linger because I'm leaving for Vegas on Thursday to play in a women's hockey tournament.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I'm at work today, and there are only 4 of us in the whole building. About an hour ago, our IT guy came in. He said he thought Wally had something in his mouth he wasn't supposed to have, and Wally wouldn't let him take it. I came out of my bay and there was Wally, tail wagging, body coiled and ready to run away should I try to take whatever it was. I took a step toward him, and off he went. Our floor is a big square with a hallway running around it. Every time he'd get to a corner, he'd stop, tail whipping back and forth, and wait for me to catch up just so he could run away again. Eventually he trapped himself when the hallway went right back to where he'd started, and the IT was there blocking the way. We grabbed him and I reached into his mouth. It took me a moment, but I eventually pried out a Greenie. Weird. None of us had given him one. And it was a big Greenie, for big dogs. I apologized to Wally and let him finish his treat. 10 minutes later, the IT guy was back. Now, Wally had a ball he'd found somewhere. That was when we figured out what was going on. The IT guy was updating software on all the computers, and had gone around the floor unlocking and opening all the offices. Apparently, Wally had found someone's Greenie stash and tennis ball. The little bastard had been going into the open offices all stealth-like and gone through people's things. I guess someone will find their doggie stuff pilfered when they return to work on Tuesday.

As if the cold that resulted in a two week long cough wasn't bad enough, now that I've finally gotten over it, I've obtained a nice head cold. My nose has been running all day and the kleenex here is Soviet Union grade. My nose is completely raw.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

In case anyone was wondering, Koo Koo Roo's Sugar Free Brownie tastes like absolute ass. I know you're all saying to yourselves, "Of course, it's sugar free, you asshat." And you are all totally right. But it looked really good in the store. I don't think I've ever before encountered a chocolate product that I had to throw away before I was finished with it. I know it's sugar free and all, but they could have at least tried to make it taste like...well..something other than ass.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A few weeks ago, I felt like I had a lot of spare time on my hands, what with the 8 hour days and all. Now, all of a sudden, I feel totally overwhelmed by the amount of things I have on my plate for the next two months. Most of the workload comes from the feature film side project which has started off with a very slow start for me. Part of it is getting back into the swing of editing that sort of footage, and part of it is just finding the extra time to do it. With three short trips planned between now and the end of February, games in two different hockey leagues, kick-boxing, and trying to snowboard PLUS make time for friends...things are just looking pretty busy. I'm looking forward to the day when 2008 will slow down a little.

How is everyone else's year starting out?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

For those of you who weren't already aware, Tom Cruise is a total nutjob. See proof here.

The Director's Guild of America made a contract deal with the major film and television studios today. Though the agreement is still tentative, it will put added pressure on the currently striking Writers to make a similar agreement. I haven't had time to read up much on this, but it sounds like the strike could soon be coming to an end. Hopefully, everyone will be up and running in another month so that pilot season doesn't die. Perhaps on the upside, we might have a lot of summer programming which would be a nice change.

This was my only day off for the week, and I spent it waking up late, playing some pick up hockey, then doing laundry and trying to get work done on a side project. Now, I plan to relax in front of the tv with my dog and watch the Everest documentary by film maker David Brashears. The film, originally filmed in IMAX format, was shot during the Everest tragedy outlined in Jon Krakauer's book Into Thin Air. I'm looking forward to seeing what the conditions were like during that horrible storm.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Welcome to this week's edition of Wally Wednesday. I keep trying to get photos of him doing cute things, but today I realized...he just IS cute. So here he is, chilling at home.

Other than that, I got nothing. I woke up late, updated my iPhone, then had to reload it because it crashed while I was updating it. That was fun. And then I was trying to get my project in line to start cutting the feature film I volunteered to help out on. Oh, and I went to kickboxing for the first time in weeks. I think my arms may fall off.

Seen in the script I got from a writer this evening: "NOTE TO EDITOR, Please try to remove pauses that are too long." I don't really need to explain to anyone why that's an absurd comment, do I?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hello Mac Book Air! Steve Jobs announced the new Apple laptop today during his Macworld keynote address. The amazingly thin laptop weighs in at only 3 lbs. and measures only 3/4" at its thickest point. It's powered by a Core 2 duo Intel chip running at both 1.6 and 1.8Ghz, and sports an 80G internal hard drive. The only thing lacking in this sweet looking laptop is an optical drive. I think I would really miss the CD/DVD drive when installing software. The Macbook Air will allow you to jump onto another optical drive on a computer in your same network, however. Still, I think I'd like to wait and see how they end up working out. If you're as excited by this laptop as I am, you should gather your $1799 together and run to the Apple store where they will be available in two weeks.

The internet is an amazing place. I've always enjoyed keeping in touch with old friends and the internet makes it just that much easier to stay in touch or find friends you've lost contact with. People are always telling me how impressed they are that I'm still friends with so many people I knew in Junior High or even Elementary School. I had a friend from way back who I was quite close with at one time. We completely lost touch. Out of all the people I've ever known, I always regretted that we had lost touch and have often wondered what he's been up to with his life. Because he's never been particularly technical and has no web presence, I pretty much wrote him off and felt confident that I would never, ever see or hear from him again. Cut to two days ago when I signed up for a popular online networking site. I did a few random searches, and lo and behold, there he was! Coincidentally, he had only signed up for the same site in November. It was like kismet. I sent him a message and was surprised when he responded right away, and before the end of yesterday, we were talking on the phone for an hour and catching up. I'd e-mailed him my phone number. When the phone rang, I picked it up and said, "Hello?" On the other end of the line, from 1,000 miles away, I heard laughter - his laughter - and I knew immediately who it was. It was great catching up with him. It was almost like finding out someone I had given up for dead was instead very much alive and well. Hopefully, we will stay in touch this time.

Yes, the internet is an amazing thing.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I haven't bought new sunglasses since I broke mine last month. This is probably the longest time in my life I've been without sunglasses. I tried to adapt - I see people driving every day with no sunglasses on, but I just can't do it. After a full month of squinting and being generally pissed off every time the sun is shining in from an area I can't block out by my visor, I finally broke down and went to the Sunglass Hut today. I didn't want to spent that much money, but I've discovered that good sunglasses are much like good cars. You don't realize what you're missing until you have one, and once you do, there's no going back. I happily purchased another pair of Ray Bans which will hopefully last for more than a year. (By the way, mine technically lasted a year and 3 months - if I had driven over them before the 12 month end point, Sunglass Hut would have given me a new pair for half off since I bought the last pair there).

When I bought my new HD DVR from Best Buy, they told me I'd want to buy an HDMI cable for it. Basically, this is the single plug (for both audio and sound) to get the most pristine HD signal from your box to your TV. The 4' cable cost $79.99. I begrudgingly bought it because the guy told me there wasn't one included in the DVR box. Well, when the Directv guys came to hook it up, there WAS one included. Additionally, a friend recently let me know that you can actually buy generic HDMI cables that are exactly the same for only $6.99 on the internet, which I confirmed. Just a heads up for anyone ready to make the HD switch. Biggest. Scam. Ever.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

We won our game last night. In fact, it was a bit of a rout. The final score was 6-0, though James skated as fast as his little legs would carry him to try to score our customary 7th goal before the buzzer. I finally had a goal, thank god. My stats are horrible this season in the co-ed league. I think playing in the women's league is softening me. That and the fact that I never have time to get on the ice when it's not for a game these days.

I have very little to report today. I didn't get home from the game until 1am last night, bypassing the offer by my fellow Pasadena players to hit the local IHOP. As much as I would have absolutely LOVED to do that, I had to get up in the morning to go to work and wanted to get to sleep. I was also at the doctor's the other day where I was weighed and horrified to see the amount of weight I have gained since the summer. I think much of it came from sitting on the couch at my mom's over the holidays doing nothing but watching old episodes of Law and Order and eating cookies. I'm sure much of the other weight gain can at least partially be attributed to the weekly run to IHOP to eat pancakes and fatty sausages at 1am right before bed. Sigh. I shall miss you, IHOP.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It was so beautiful out today when I got up that I didn't want to go into work. It was sunny and 75 degrees out. I wanted to play hooky and go mountain biking, sit out in the sun, do whatever I wanted to do except go into work. Sadly, I had to go in. No sick days for me. If I don't work, I don't get paid, and such is the nature of freelancing.

One thing I've never gotten used to, in all the time I've worked in the entertainment industry, is the fluxuation of work. There you are, making money to your heart's content, going into work every day, and then - boom! - your show gets canceled. Or your show ends, or there's a strike, or your executive producer decides he doesn't want to battle with the network anymore and calls the show off himself (even though it's already really been canceled). Either way, there you are, suddenly having too much time on your hands and no money to do anything. You then continue in this way until you're working again, 14 hours a day, no time to do anything but eat and sleep. At least the work where I'm at is stable even though it doesn't pay as well and isn't nearly as high profile. It's also only eight hours a day which can't be beat anywhere I know of elsewhere in Hollywood. It makes me wonder if it's not time to just settle down and take the job that is the safe bet, the reliable bet, even if the dollars are less. After all, the money isn't BAD, it's just less.

When I was younger, I thought a job wasn't worth doing if you weren't 100% passionate about it. Now I realize quality of life is quite possibly more important. What's the point of working hard and making a ton of money if you never have the time off to enjoy it - REAL time off, not "Oh, shit, I don't have a job anymore" time off? Perhaps it's finally time to stop and smell the roses.

What would each of you rather do - work your ass off and in a job that makes you professionally accomplished but takes away most of your life? Or do a good job that's worthy of being done and have the time to enjoy your days here?

Friday, January 11, 2008

A tornado touched down just after noon yesterday in my hometown of Vancouver, Washington. Tornados are extremely unusual in that region and the last one happened in 1972. The tornado, rated as an EF1 (the '72 storm was an F2), caused winds from 90-100mph which resulted in trees being uprooted and broken in half. A semi truck was flipped over in the wind, and several store signs and billboards went flying. The storm touched down near Vancouver Lake, then again near 78th and HWY99, quite close to where my sister lives. Although there was a ton of property damage and 1,200 people left without power, there were no injuries or fatalities as a result of the storm. Here are some photos of the damage:

I have a friend who I met playing hockey in Los Angeles. A couple of years ago, she and her husband moved their family, coincidentally, to Vancouver. I got an e-mail from her last night saying how bad the storm was and that she'd take southern California and sunshine any day. Clearly, she's forgotten about the earthquakes, mudslides and fires.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary, the climber who, with Nepal's Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, first reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, has died. Hillary was 88. Most arguably the most famous New Zealander, Hillary went on to live a life full of expeditions (including to the South Pole) and philanthropy. His Himalaya Trust gave approximately $250,ooo US annually to benefit the people of the Himalaya. The last great obstacle on the final ridge to the Everest summit, a 40 foot rock, is named the Hillary Step after him. Today, the rock remains a formidable challenge before the summit despite the climbing ropes anchored there year after year. When Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing encountered it in 1953, wearing clothing and oxygen tanks much more cumbersome then their modern counterparts, "Hillary "jammed" his way up a narrow crack running vertically up the rock using all his strength and determination and then hauled Tenzing up and they moved on with little to impede them."

The article I read on Hillary's death stated, "For years neither (Hillary nor Tenzing) would say who stepped foot on the summit first, but after Tenzing's death in 1986, Hillary revealed it was him." I'm still not sure that answers the question. "Him" who? Hillary or Tenzing?

Although I set my alarm for 6am this morning in an attempt to go snowboarding, I just couldn't bring myself to get out of bed. I finally did around 10am and decided I might as well head up anyway, which I did for just a couple of hours. Boy, the snow sure didn't look anything like it did on Sunday! It was still a fun afternoon. Now Wally and I are going to kick back and watch more Dead Like Me, Season 2 on DVD.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

If you have no idea who you want to support in the upcoming presidential election, this site may help. It asks for your opinion on 25 key issues then shows how you match up against the people who are running. I've taken two quizzes like this on different web sites, and the guy who keeps coming out on top is Dennis Kucinich, Democrat. Of course ALL my top candidates were Democrats and the only Republican even remotely close (at the very bottom of the list) was Giuliani. I have no idea who Kucinich is, but from what I've read, he has very little chance of making it through to the end. You should take the quiz - you might be surprised at who you agree with.

The dish guys are here putting in my HD dish. Since I have a minor cold and a splitting headache (which is now on day 3), I now have no other plans than laying in front of the tv watching movies all day long.

For Wally Wednesday, here's a photo of the little guy as we head off to work.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Many of you have noticed the lack of new episodes on television due to the writer's strike. In an effort to bring fresh programming to hungry viewers, CBS has decided to air all 12 episodes from the first season of Dexter, beginning on February 17 and airing for 12 consecutive Sundays. It's the first time a network will re-air an entire series that originated on a pay network. For those of you who have yet to see the show, possibly because you don't have Showtime, this will be a great opportunity for you to see an awesome show. CBS is also contemplating airing Weeds as well. I wonder exactly how much censoring and recutting will have to be done to make these shows airable on network television? Part of what makes them so likable is the edginess that comes from not having to neuter the shows for Standards and Practices. I may have to tune in just to see how they handle it.

Since I'm still on the odd work schedule, I've worked yesterday and today, but have Wednesday and Thursday off. Although I felt fine the entire two weeks I wasn't working over the holidays, I now seem to be coming down with a nice head cold. I'd thought of snowboarding on Thursday but I think I shall have to wait and see. On the upside, the dish guy is supposed to come upgrade my satellite to HD tomorrow so at least if I'm stuck at home on the couch watching TV, it will be crystal clear hi-def television.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Though I picked up some hours freelancing over the break, today is my first official day back at work (along with everyone else). I feel like I'm coming down with a cold so I'm not especially excited to be working tonight until 1am. At least I'll have Wally with me. Everyone should be happy to see him after such a long break from his cuteness! I can't help it - I have a very popular dog.

I forgot to mention yesterday how many kids and families were out snowboarding yesterday. It was cool to see so many parents bonding with their kids through the sports of snowboarding and skiing. For Father of the Year, I'd like to award the man I heard saying loudly to his young son, who had just managed to go about 30 feet on his board without falling: "There you go! Now you're getting it! Keep that up and you won't suck as bad!"

It looks like the CES (computer electronics show) began in Vegas today. One of the items being featured by Taser - a holster to carry your Taser AND your MP3 player. Now you can comfortably tase someone into submission and not even have to hear their screams! Also being unveiled - new Taser colors, including "red hot" and "fashion pink." Why do I feel like someone at Taser has a really good sense of humor?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

6am came early this morning. That's when I had to get up to go snowboarding, and I didn't get to sleep until after midnight. I'm no 5 hour a night person - I need my 8 hours. Still, I felt reasonably alert when we headed off to the mountain. Since it's been pouring rain down here, new snow has been dumped in the mountains and there was a ton of powder at Mountain High. I found it to be harder to maneuver in, but when I fell, it didn't hurt at all. Halfway through the morning, the snow was really coming down and by the time we'd get off the chair lift we'd be covered in it. I had a lot of fun today and didn't fall nearly as often as I have previously. I'm looking forward to getting back up there some time soon.

While my dish has not been upgraded to HD yet, a friend loaned me his extra HD DVD player and the HD copy of Bladerunner he has. It's nice to finally see how great my television looks! I've always loved Bladerunner but it's been over a decade since I've seen it in its entirety. Seeing it on a 42" high def screen is amazing. I remember 25 years ago viewing a new VHS tape on a 27" television and thinking, "Wow! This is just like being in the theater!" Things have really changed.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get excited about today. I woke up late, couldn't get out of bed. Did some errands, had lunch, more errands, then veg'd out in front of the tv to watch a movie I had already seen on cable. Since I don't usually get Saturdays off, you would think I should have taken advantage of the situation but I have not. I do have a hockey game this evening so I'm sort of just waiting around to get ready for that. Then I'm waking up early tomorrow morning to go snowboarding (hopefully - Mt. High did not open today). I don't know if it's the overcast weather or the getting dark early but I just can't get into it. I guess tomorrow will be a better day.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Whoo-hoo! It's raining! I usually find this irritating, but now I realize this means snow in the mountains, and a friend and I have plans to go boarding on Sunday. It'll be interesting if we end up needing chains - she has some, but neither of us have ever put them on a car before. I have a feeling Sunday is going to be a very early morning!

Once again, Wally has been thoroughly enjoying the rain. He wants to go out more then normal to play fetch in the downpour, but I'm tired of having to dry him off again and again. I let him out on the porch a few moments ago, thinking he would just sit on the stoop, but when he came in he was soaked again. Sigh. At least he'll be soft!

Tonight is my first hockey game in exactly three weeks. That's a really long time to go without playing hockey, not just because I miss it, but because I'm no longer conditioned and I know the game tonight will be long, hard and tiring. I'm sure I'll be sucking wind before the warm up is over. Also, we're playing the first place team. Yeah, great scheduling!

I went to Best Buy today and bought the new DVR receiver to upgrade my dish to HD. I have an appointment next week for the guy to come out and install the new dish. Let me tell you, making the switch to HD has been expensive. Aside from the $1500 tv (which was actually a really good deal), it cost another $300 for the DVR plus $70 for the special HD cable for the DVR (not included). The biggest pain in the ass is that Tivo no longer has a contract with Directv, so their boxes will only work with digital cable now. I've been a Tivo owner since the very first version came out and love the interface. I've seen the Directv DVR interface and it sucks. But I have a contract with Directv and it would cost even more to get out of it and switch to cable. Sigh. I hate proprietary equipment.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I picked up my new television today. It's freaking enormous. It's amazing the difference in weight between the old tube television and the new one, which I had no problems picking up. Conversely, I nearly killed myself moving the old set from where it was just to the ground. Now, it's sitting in my living room waiting until someone can help me take it into the garage. As I'd been told, standard def programming looks horrific on the new HD television. It reminds me of my early years in editing when drive space was expensive and we had to digitize everything at about a 20:1 resolution - big blocks of pixels. I absolutely must get the HD dish hooked up soon!

A friend recently loaned me a book and now that I've started reading it, it's hard to put down. It's called "Shadow Divers" by Robert Kurson. It recounts the real-life story of deep wreck divers in New Jersey who discovered a sunken U-Boat in waters where no U-Boats were reported sunken. The book takes you along as they dive the dangerously deep wreck (at 250 ft.) and search for information to identify it. While I generally prefer fiction, this story is well-told and documented by the writer, taking you into the lives of the divers until they become very real. If you've never heard of it or haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Wally really cleaned up in the gift department at Christmas. He now has enough treats to last him through the year. Here he is (slightly blurry) posing with them:

No, it's not the apocalypse, it's just the aftermath of the Pasadena Rose Parade. Believe me, this is nothing compared to most other areas of the route. The amazing thing is that the city will have this all cleaned up by the next day.

I heard "Rich Girl" by Hall & Oates on my way home from work today. I forgot what a great voice Daryl Hall has. It's hard to believe that the song, the first number one hit for the duo, was first released 30 years ago! Now I may have to go find myself a Hall & Oates greatest hits CD. Wait...I bet Kings Fan has one...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I received a Christmas card in the mail from an old colleague who is very politically outspoken, and to be honest, a bit of a fanatic. On the outside of the envelope, along with the addresses, he had stamped, "Ron Paul '08." I'm not a terribly political person, and am especially not confrontational about my political beliefs, so I felt somewhat affronted by the ink stamp. Aside from the fact that I'm not a supporter of Ron Paul, I felt that putting the campaigning info on a Christmas envelope seemed inappropriate. Am I the only one who would find this annoying?

I managed to purchase my HDTV online last night before the tax deadline with a few hours to spare. This is the one I opted for. I'm happy to have the new TV, but am not looking forward to having to get my dish and DVR switched over to HD. I'm a big fan of the Tivo interface, but it seems that there is no HD Tivo box for Directv - only for Cable. Does anyone have the HD Tivo with Cable? And if so, how do you like it?