Thursday, November 15, 2007


Most people don't know this, but I once had the lead in the school play. That's right, I played the title character in Mrs. Sissick's kindergarten presentation of "Little White Duck". I remember many details about it: I remember being asked if I wanted the part. I remember my construction paper costume which consisted of a white hat with an orange bill and green eyes. I remember squatting down and flapping my arms like a duck. I remember in the play that the duck was visited by all of his friends from the pond: A frog. A bug. A snake. I remember the other characters coming on stage and running around me one by one. And I remember thinking that since I was the only person on stage during the entire production, I must be the star.

Oddly enough, the one thing I don't remember about the play is the song itself. I remember one line "Little white duck, sitting in the water..." And that's it. Well thanks to the miracle of the internet I thought I would try to jar my memory a bit by looking up the song.

There's a little white duck sitting in the water
a little white duck doing what he oughter
he took a bite of a lily pad
flapped his wings and he said "I'm glad
I'm a little white duck sitting in the water
quack! quack! quack!"

Doesn't ring a bell but it makes sense. The song continues:

there's a little green frog swimming in the water
a little green frog doing what he oughter
he jumped right off of the lily pad
that the little duck bit and he said "I'm glad
I'm a little green frog swimming in the water
ribbit! ribbit! ribbit!"

Yup, there's the frog, just like I remember.

there's a little black bug floating on the water
a little black bug doing what he oughter
he tickled the frog on the lily pad
that the little duck bit and he said "I'm glad
I'm a little black bug floating on the water
bzzz! bzzz! bzzz!

In my mind, the bug was specifically a fly, but it still fits in with my memory. Now all that's left is the snake:

there's a little red snake playing in the water
a little red snake doing what he oughter
he frightened the duck and the frog so bad
he ate the bug and he said "I'm glad
I'm a little red snake playing in the water
hiss! hiss! hiss!

Woah woah woah. The snake ATE the bug?! What kind of horrible children's song is this? I definitely don't remember anything like that happening. Maybe the last verse provides a happy ending.

now there's nobody left sitting in the water
nobody left doing what he oughter
there's nothing left but the lily pad
the duck and the frog ran away, I'm sad
'cause there's nobody left sitting in the water
boo! hoo! hoo!

This is a TERRIBLE story! I was in kindergarten long before the PC Police started sanitizing everything so I doubt we sang an edited version. It's no wonder my brain blocked out all of the lyrics. Maybe all of my neurosies come from the repressed memory of having to perform this twisted tale. Perhaps it's best that my theatrical career was short-llived.


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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Grieving Las Vegas

I'm very upset.

For years, I have wanted to go to Vegas to watch them blow up an old hotel. The problem is I never knew ahead of time when they would have the implosion. I'd just be watching the news at home some night and see yet another hotel get demolished.

Well I finally targeted a hotel demolition to watch. I knew the Frontier was being taken down, and last year I intentionally stayed there for Kim & Travis' wedding. This way I would have more of a connection to the hotel when it went down. I signed up on a website to be notified whenever a Vegas hotel is scheduled to be demolished, assuming that I would have at least a week's notice and could drive out just for the night.

Well of course, now I find out that they blew up the Frontier in specatcular fashion and I missed it.

Stupid Vegas.


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Monday, November 12, 2007

Cable Fable

I was a happy DirecTV customer for about 6 years. I had a dual-tuner DirecTV Tivo and it was the shizzle. Unfotunately, DirecTV no longer supports Tivo; they force you to use their custom DVR. I have a Tivo blanket at home. I have a stuffed Tivo toy. I wear a Tivo lanyard all day at work. I want Tivo, not some generic knock-off. So I switched to cable TV.

For the past 3 months, I had a problem where one of the new tuners would drop a few channels from time to time. It was rare, maybe once every 2-3 weeks. But I finally called the cable company to fix it. A guy came out with a new tuner card but couldn't tell which one was bad so he said he'd have to come back with 2 tuner cards and replace them both.

A few days later, a different guy came and replaced both cards. But there was a problem with the authorization and I couldn't get any HD channels on that tuner.

A few days after that, another cable guy came out. This time he had someone else with him. About 10 minutes after they arrived, TWO MORE cable guys appeared. So now I had four people from the cable company in my living room for 45 minutes and they couldn't get it to work.

Yesterday, yet another 2 people showed up, swapped out a card, and now I get all of the channels I'm supposed to. However, even though my "signal strength" reads a very healthy 95, about once every 2 minutes the picture breaks up with a small digital hit. (I used to get some noise only once every couple of hours, if not less.) It drives me crazy, because it happens so regularly that I actually find myself anticipating the next hit. It's very distracting.

I don't want to go back to DirecTV. My Tivo is a GREAT DVR (300 hours of storage built in) and I don't want to leave it. But that locks me into cable. Do I dare call up the cable company yet again and risk them screwing it up more?


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Monday, November 05, 2007

Eggciting Halloween

I spent Halloween at a friend's house helping them give out candy. Their street gets blocked off to traffic for a huge Halloween party. We have an official clicker to count the number of trick-or-treaters. This year it was 1,804. That's right, one-thousand, eight hundred and four individual kids.

I had to park about 3 blocks away, and I had a bad vibe about it. My car was pretty close to the corner, and I was worried that if someone turned on to the street too quickly they would hit me. At the end of the evening, I was very happy to return to my car and see that it had not been hit. I was not very happy to see that it had been egged.

I was a little annoyed, but honestly it really wasn't that big a deal. I stopped at the first gas station and wiped the slime off the windshield and the hood. It's just one of those Halloween things, right? Wrong. Somehow, some of the egg dripped under the hood into the engine. The vents pull air in from the engine, and now the inside of my car smells like egg. It's gross. I had the car washed, still sinks.

Not to do any kind of profiling, but I assume the perp was a teen male. I'm giving the benefit of the doubt and assume that he probably didn't intend to cause this much trouble. He just wanted to smash an egg, and I understand. It's fun to smash eggs. But I wish I could meet him, sit him down and explain to him all the frustration he has caused so that he could understand the consequences of his actions.

And then beat the living shit out of him.


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Friday, November 02, 2007

Feeling Blu

My boss told me about a super one-day-only sale at Wal-Mart: $99 for a
Toshiba HD-DVD player. At that price, how can you go wrong? Entry-
level players are normally $199-$299. Although the format wars
continue, for $99 I was willing to pick a side.

I was worried about the players selling out, so I tool an early lunch
and headed out to Wal-Mart. I was trying to decide which movie rent to test
it out. Thern I remembered that Blockbuster doesn't rent HD-DVD, only

Blockbuster is 3 blocks from my home; I don't want to drive farther to
get a video. 95% of my rentals are last-minute decisions; I don't want
to wait for something from Netflix to arrive. In other words, for $99
I'd be able to stress out about finding discs to play on the machine.

I took the next exit off the freeway and went back to work.


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