Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Fun

This video isn't HAHA funny but it is WTF funny.

Poor guy, just pulled off on of the most amazing stunts of his life and it was a complete accident.  He couldn't do that again without breaking his neck and I'm amazed that he didn't.

Then this got me to thinking.  Have I ever done anything in my life that was a complete accident but turned out pretty cool?  Well kid #2 not withstanding.  Kidding!!

The best I can come up with happened a long time ago in during one of Maryland's wonderful ice storms.  I was going down a hill in my Jeep and I started to skid to the left.  The road was deserted, fortunately, and the skid turned into a full out spin.  I held onto the steering wheel and tried to turn into it, like video games taught me, and then must have hit a non icy patch because the car spun all the way around.  In my lane, pointed in the direction I was going.


How about you?  Anything that started out as an accident but then afterwards you wished you had it on film?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wildcard Wednesday Fails

I didn't expect a winner every week. I know it's going to be impossible for me to even find something that I want to write about all the time. But after getting Ghostbusters 3 a couple of weeks ago, I had high hopes of getting something good this time.

Actress Penelope Cruz welcomed her first child at Cedars Sinai Hospital in L.A. Tuesday.
Nope.  Today Yahoo! gives us Penelope Cruz.

You may be asking yourself. Why is Penelope Cruz in the news? I know I was asking myself.

Granted she's beautiful.  But she's had to have done something special to be at the top of Yahoo!'s buzz list, right?  She had a baby. That's cool and all but are we so starved for entertainment that celebrities having babies are news?

Sorry, I forgot, we are.  And in some cases just because you had more babies than you should you actually become a celebrity.  Doesn't that seem wrong to you?  Does to me.

It's not a clown car people.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday - The Zombie Review

I hate zombies.  I love zombies.  I'm afraid of zombies.  I'm afraid not in the way people are afraid of vampires or ghosts.  Those things aren't real.  Zombies scare me because they can be real.  Not otherworldly real but horrible disease gone wrong real.  Zombies are all the rage it seems, replacing vampires as the go to monster.  I'm going to touch on three zombie related items that have been my favorite.

Movie - Zombieland

I have watched this movie at least a half dozen times and I never grow tired of it.  It could be Emma Stone but I'm not sure.  If you have not had a chance to watch this yet.  Do it.  It's not scary at all so don't use that as an excuse.  It is a little gross, there are zombies running around after all, eating people.  And any movie that has Bill Murray dressed up like a zombie earns a big thumbs up from me.

Book - Feed

First of all, I'm not inclined to change the picture to match the line of Zombieland.  I'm a) lazy or b) don't know how.  I found this book on in the bookstore on my iPad.  I downloaded the sample and was hooked immediately.  It takes place in the future and you guessed it, the zombies were created because of someone trying to cure something.  The story takes place in 2039 and the zombies have been contained, to a point.  The world has turned to bloggers to provide the news because the mainstream media was unreliable during the initial outbreak.  The story focuses on three bloggers as they are picked to cover an up and coming presidential candidate.  So yeah, right in the middle of the a zombie book, a political thriller breaks out. If only there had been time travel if would've been the perfect book for me.  This is the first in a trilogy of books and I can't wait until the next two are published!

Videogame - Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare

And again the picture doesn't line up.  Just pitiful.  Anyway.  This is a FPS that takes place in the old west.  It's a add-on to Red Dead Redemption which itself was a blast of a game.  In that game you basically rode around on your horse, shooting bad guys, robbing trains and pretty much doing anything you wanted to.  You could go anywhere you on the map and little missions would pop up that helped the story line along.  Undead Nightmare is the same except um, there are zombies.  Lots of zombies.  And it's kind of unnerving to be galloping along on your horse only to turn the corner and run into 25 zombies milling about.  It's easy enough to gallop away most times but if they grab you off your horse you could be in trouble.  I think what gets to me the most about Zombies is the noise they make.  That groan just sends shivers up my spine and there have been a couple of moments in this game where I yelled at the tv for the zombies to just leave me alone, while running away.  Not exactly bad ass cowboy behavior.

But zombies are scary.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Money Monday - Fair and Balanced

No, I'm not writing about the Fox News Channel.  I'm writing about our checkbook.

Wait, we really don't even have a checkbook anymore.  We only write checks for Nick's daycare, everything else is paid online.  But old lingo never dies.   I still tape stuff on my DVR.  I digress.

Every morning I fire up Quicken and my bank's web page and I balance all the transactions from the day before.  I know what our checking account balance is almost to the penny.  I'm not a control freak, really. I don't tell my wife what she can and can't spend money on.  We have a budget for that.  :)  The point is nothing surprises me.  I know where the money is coming from and where it is going.

Speaking of where it is going, my Quicken balances out until the middle of April.  Hmm, maybe I do have a problem.   It gives me a great peace of mind to know that all of our bills are paid and our food, clothing and household budget are all funded.

By paying attention and watching what is happening, it feels like we have more money on a weekly basis.  And who doesn't want more money?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Who needs Power - Computer Friday

I'm waiting for wireless power.  But it will probably get here about the same time my flying car does so I'm not holding out hope.  I had two customer calls this week where their computer and monitor just stopped working.

Imagine that, just poof, no more computer.  Most people would freak out I suppose.  Scratch that, most people do freak out.   Then they call tech support.  I'm happy to help out but this isn't something that I can fix over the phone so I pay a visit to them in their office.

Complaint #1 - My monitor won't come on.  User has rebooted (Twice, got to give them points for that) and is now just sitting and looking longingly at one dead monitor.  I do the first thing any good tech will do, I check that it's plugged into the wall.   Trust me on this, it happens.  I find that it's plugged in good and tight so next I check the plug on the monitor itself.  Viola!  We have power and I am greeted by a nice picture of her kitten snuggling with her bunny.  Sigh.

Complaint #2 - My computer just stopped working.  It was working fine all morning and then, POW, nothing.  Really?  It made a pow noise?  That's weird.  Be right there.  I get to the office and sure enough the computer is not on.  I crawl under the desk, (my most favorite part of the job) push two pair of shoes and a bag full of clothes out of the way and take a look.  No lights anywhere.   Plugged into the wall?  Check.  Plugged into the computer?  Oh, now I see the problem.  Yeah, your big hobbit feet must have kicked the plug out of the back of the computer. Stop trying to use it as a foot rest.  Sigh.

This next little story goes back awhile.  I got a call from someone that was setting up a new office and in the process of hooking up the computers before the staff arrived.  There was one computer left and they couldn't get network connectivity.  So I had them check the normal stuff and yes it was plugged in.  Next was a check of the closet where all the cables went to hang out and the computer was plugged in there as well.  I suggest we log in and try running a few commands, all of which indicated that the computer in fact had no network connectivity and couldn't get to the internet.  This probably went on for about 20 minutes as I tried everything I could think of.  Finally, it was brought to my attention that, oops, the network cable was in fact not plugged in.

You may wonder if I got mad and went off on the user since one of the first questions I asked was if the computer was plugged in.   Nope, I married her.

Here's a little Windows 7 Tip for you.  We have enough junk laying around and our desktops are the same way.  Windows 7 gets rid of the extra windows that are behind your active window. Just hit the Windows+Home key to minimize all inactive windows. To restore the windows just hit those same keys again.

And for my Mac lovers, I don't have any tips.  I don't use my Mac that much.  :D

Little computer humor for you..

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gundar is my alter ego. Almost like the Hulk but I don't turn green and smash things.

Sometimes I smash things.

A long time ago, I used to play computer games a lot. I still play computer games but no where near like I used to. There was a computer game called "Neverwinter Nights" which was a D&D like game. The hardest part of games where you create a character is naming the stupid thing. Fortunately this one had a little auto name generator built in so I kept hitting the generate name button until one time...


I was awestruck. What an insanely cool name. So I took it. And now it's my name everywhere. When I play poker online, it's Gundar. When I'm on the PS3. Gundar. So what does Gundar look like? Glad you asked.

Pretty bad ass, no? He shows himself sometimes when people frustrate me. There is a desk drawer in my office full of broken keyboards, mice, mother boards and such. He had to have done it, I would never break things up like that.

He also rises to the surface when things are supposed to work but they don't. And in traffic.

Don't get me wrong, Gundar isn't just angry Mike.  Gundar has a great sense of humor.  Especially when he sees things like this.

Jaw unhinges, loud guttural noises come out and tears stream down his face.  He's a funny guy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wildcard Wednesday DELIVERS

All day long, I would bring up the front page of Yahoo! and just be utterly depressed at what the trending topic was. I told myself that at a certain time, the topic would lock in. So I kept looking and kept seeing Miley Cyrus. Close browser. Open browser, Miley Cyrus. Crap, really WW? You are going to make me write about Miley Cyrus. Sigh. Browser closed.

Browser opened...GHOSTBUSTERS 3!!!!! WOOHOO

Ghostbusters is one of my top 5 movies. Right up there with Back to the Future, Tombstone, GoodFellas and Star Wars. Ghostbusters 2 was ok but nothing to write home about.

I could quote Ghostbuster lines forever, it's such a quotable movie. Like this for example:

Dr. Peter Venkman: So, she's a dog...

or this little exchange

Dr. Egon Spengler: There's something very important I forgot to tell you.
Dr. Peter Venkman: What?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Don't cross the streams.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Why?
Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad.
Dr. Peter Venkman: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Dr Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

You get the point.  There has long been a rumored Ghostbusters 3.  But would it be new people?  A reboot of the franchise like so many others are doing?  

According to what I'm reading now Ivan Reitman and the rest of the crew have all signed up to reprise their roles in the new movie.  It's a great story with all the old characters plus a bunch of new ones.  The script is waiting on Bill Murray to give it his stamp of approval and then they can move ahead with filming.   This really gives me goosebumps.   The film is scheduled to be released in December of 2012.   Check out the trailer from, are you ready, 1984!!

You have to be excited about the prospects of GB3.  Or you can't read my blog anymore.

Just kidding. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Review Tuesday? What was I thinking?

I don't know how to write a review. I should have put more thought into this whole schedule thing. When I don't know how to do something I turn to my good friend Google. In the handy search box I typed, How to write a review. Google never lets me down. First link took me here.

So for my first review, I'm going to review....this article!!! I'm so clever.

Step 1: Start with a category.
That's easy, this is a self-help article on how to write reviews. That I found on the Internet. Not much more to say about that.

Step 2: Develop clear criteria.
Not really sure what that means. Let me look at the examples. Hm, no examples. Wait, yes there is. "What makes it good?" What makes this article good? It was easy to find. It's short. Probably not what the author intended as good points but who knows.

Step 3: Make a judgement.
Another easy one. This article sucks. What kind of helpful hints are these? It's like saying, if you want to know what the weather is like, look outside. Thanks. Very helpful.

Step 4: Gather evidence.
The article is 5 paragraphs long and most of the page is taken up by ads or links to related articles like "How to write a thesis." If the thesis article is anything like this one, I feel sorry for the poor sap that follows its advice.

Step 5: Sum it up.

While looking for an article on writing reviews, I found this uninspiring article at The author put forward some pretty vanilla thoughts. They could have made more of an impact though if presented with a couple of helpful examples. The website was hard to look at with the myriad of ads for flat bellies and work at home opportunities and I felt it took away from the legitimacy of the article. I should have searched a little harder for a more helpful article. Maybe my review would've been better.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Money money money money

Money is always at the front of my mind. It affects darn near every decision I make and surely affects my mood. Money and I have a strange relationship. When I was younger I spent everything I got my hands on. Heck, I worked for it, why not spend it. Even through my late 20's, I got married, bought a house and just spent and spent and spent.

I don't spend so much anymore. Not that I don't want to. Don't get me wrong. I'm a techie and love new gadgets. I love to give my wife and kids things. Heck, I would love to be able to give money to charities that call the house every night. But I can't. It's like waking up on New Years Day with a killer hangover. All those years of bad behavior eventually catch up to you.

While my wife and I currently make a great income there never seems to be enough to take that great vacation or heck even do something like home repairs. But before you start feeling sorry for us, please stop. We live in a nice house, drive two nice cars and eat plenty. (Check out my waistline.) We don't really NEED anything. We still have plenty of wants though.

That's where the difference between being a grownup and being a kid (in grown up clothes) lies. We can delay this pleasure for now. It's hard. Really hard. But when we look back at the last year and see that we paid off over $18,000 in debt it makes you realize it's worth it.

Debt is forefront on our fight with money. I won't let it beat us. It had a good hold on us but I can see that light at the end of the tunnel. A couple of years ago I was looking for a book to listen to on my commute to and from DC. I stumbled upon Dave Ramsey's, "The Total Money Makeover". And it made me mad. I remember hitting my steering wheel with my hand when I realized how foolish I had been with all the money that I've come into contact with in my lifetime. So I changed.

We got on a budget and we laid out a roadmap of where we are headed. We are half way down that road now. There is no turning back. Well that's a lie, we could get new car payments, more credit cards and it would feel good for about a month or so. But then we'd have to start writing those checks again. That never feels good.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday - It's playoff day!

The Ravens are getting ready to kick off their playoff game against Kansas City. I thought about holding off this entry until later but if they lose, I'm not going to be in a happy mood and then there would'vebeen no blog. And, I have a schedule to keep.

I mentioned that my loyalty mainly lies with 3 teams. Two hometown, one not so much.

I'll concentrate on the Orioles today. The fact that I go to them first should tell you what I feel about them. I can't remember a moment in my life that I wasn't a fan. I love baseball. I'm a big nerd and I love all the numbers. But this recent run has hardened my heart against the black and orange. They made a lot of moves this year and my heart is jumping up and down going, "Hey, nice job!" My head is going, "Shut up." Head wins for now. I have witnessed some great events in my lifetime. I was at Memorial Stadium for the last game in 1982 when Earl retired and the O's had won three straight to force what was essentially a one game playoff with the Brewers. When the game was over, this happened.

And I'll never forget it.

Oh speaking of never forgetting, I was here too....

I tried to find some video but all I could get my hands on were people taking video of their television. Not the best quality there.
When Cal did the lap around the field, this grown man cried. A little. Hey, it's allowed.

I watched this on TV and it still hurts. Deep deep hurt. That little bastard stole an out and helped the O's lose a playoff game against theYankees that they might have won. That was 1996 and I don't think they've been the same ever since.

I'll never stop following them. I'll never give up on them. But why does it have to be this hard to root for a sports team?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Everything is running on schedule

Or it will be at least. I think that if I want to continue this blog and have people read it, I need to come up with a schedule for myself. I know every Thursday at 9, "The Office" will be on NBC. Or that football games on Sunday start at 1 & 4. So I'm going to lay out a schedule and hopefully keep to it. Mark it on your calendar and come back for your favorite days. Better yet, just come back every day. See, I'm here to make your life easier.

  • Sports Sunday - I'm a big sports fan. The Ravens and the Orioles are my favorite major league teams and I'm a big time Duke Blue Devil basketball fan. 2 out of 3 isn't bad right? I do follow other sports but I don't have a vested interest in any other teams. So on Sunday you'll get a whole bunch of sports goodness.

  • Money Monday - Don't roll your eyes. Everyone needs to think about money. This probably won't be the biggest of my weekly entries but I do think about money. A LOT. Not in a get rich sort of way but in a how can I pay off my debt and still take my family on a cool vacation way.

  • Tuesday's Review - Tuesday is when new DVDs and games come out. It's the perfect day for a review segment. It won't always be the newest stuff. I may review a TV show that I watched in the last week or a even a book I'm reading. Could be a movie I saw with Brigid or a PS3 game that I can't stop playing. I'm out of control. I've never really reviewed anything before and I hope I'll be able to muster something other than, "True Blood is awesome, you should watch it."

  • Wildcard Wednesday - Wednesdays suck. It is the middle of the week. Last weekend seems so far away, next weekend is equally as far. On Wednesday, for no good reason, I'm going to open up Yahoo and comment on whatever is the top trend at the time. Yeah, how's that for a wildcard?

  • Interview Thursday - I'm a husband, father, son and brother. I have a great core group of friends and I have a job that I do quite well. But what's going on deep inside? Got me. I'm one of the least introspective people you'll ever meet. So I'll think up a question and ask myself. And then I'll answer. See how that works? Like an interview. Clever.

  • Computer Friday - I restarted the blog on a Friday with a small rant about something that happened in my job as a Desktop Engineer. (Fancy title, right?) So I think I will keep computer Fridays. It won't alway be about my job. It may be about....yeah it's probably going to be about my job.

  • Stupid Saturday - No, I don't think Saturdays are stupid. Quite the opposite, I love Saturdays. It's the one day of the week that I feel is the least filled with stress. (For the most part.) I'm going to browse the web and find the something that makes me laugh or makes me shake my head in disgust. It's going to be hard work, surfing the web in search of funny or disturbing things. But I'm up for the challenge.
And to prove it, here you go.

What I love about this is that he really tries the first two hurdles and knocks them both down. Then he just starts Hulk smashing his way through the rest of them. Near the end when one of the hurdles gets wrapped around his head and knocks him off track into the next lane, he destroys those hurdles too. The poor guy that was running next to him has no idea what to do so he just sort of fake half jumps over the broken hurdles. And at the very end of the clip he actually trips on the little ledge that surrounds the track. I'm thinking the hurdles are not his strongest event.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Computer Friday - Patches didn't break your stuff..

I hear it all the time. "IT installed patches and now my computer is broken."

Yeah, right. First of all, I install patches. Well I have a big server that does it for real but I push buttons like no one's business. So, I know what the patches are capable of. And on a side note, when a person out there in cube land says "IT" do they know what the heck they are talking about? My experience is no. Anyway, I digress. About these patches. See everything needs to be patched. The operating system, your programs and even hardware. So it's a necessary evil. Like staff meetings. A long long time ago, in a galaxy far away, (ok IT folks are a little nerdy) patches could and did break stuff. But that day is long gone. I still test my patches because I like to be safe but haven't had patching break anything as long as I can remember.

So, patching is necessary. It fixes and enhances and protects your computer. It's going to happen so just relax and let it happen.

Here is what patching won't do.
  • Cause your voicemail not to work. Adobe acrobat has nothing to do with your phone.
  • Cause your laptop to change your password. Um, I don't patch your laptop. Especially not your personal one.
  • Cause your emails to disappear. Maybe if you didn't click on the sort button and sort your emails from oldest to newest, then you'd see your new emails. Just saying.
  • Cause vision problems. Stay with me on this one, it's like a little play.
"IT installed patches and now I can't see anything on my monitor."

"Is the computer on?"

"Yes, well I can see something but there is a glare coming in through my window from the sun."

"Wait, you can't see your screen because of sun glare?"

"Yeah, this just started happening after IT installed a patch or something this weekend."

Or it's just that the time changed and the sun is in a different position now when you come to work. And you just need to lower the blinds in your office. I really am a computer genius.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Back from the dead

My blog is now a zombie. It's been dead for over 2 years now while I was off doing so much exciting stuff that I couldn't possibly put all my adventures into words. All right, I'm lying. I just got bored with it after a few posts and left it to rot.

Does this mean I'm going to be a posting machine like my beautiful wife, Brigid Kemmerer? Yeah, probably not. But who knows, maybe I will. Maybe I will become famous for my witty posts. I will have hundreds, no THOUSANDS, of followers hanging on my every word.

What's probably going to happen though is this. I will blog about crap that is going on for about 2 months. Then the zombie blog will die again.

Only to see daylight in 2013. ggrrrrrrrrrr. (that's the sound zombies make in case you didn't know.)