Monday, November 28, 2005

Tiki Bar TV

Go here now

Or subscribe to Tiki Bar TV in the podcasts in iTunes. It is a video podcast that has been around since about March.

These people are unbelieveably funny. Each episode is a recipe for a drink - and although I don't drink - it doesn't matter. They are crazy.

No admittedly, LaLa is a very hot woman that is in most episodes, but when they are trying to decode and internet post about their show and she says she is a l33t h4x0r. Oh, LaLa, you had me at l33t h4x0r.

Here's Johnny-Johnny and Dr. Tiki followed by the main 3 cast members all together (and Drinkbot :) )

Just see the show. You don't need an ipod to see it, I don't have one. Totally worth seeing. I know these are just some friends screwing around, but I hope to see more of them in the future. My only complaint is they only do one per month - but I prefer the quality over quantity.

These guys are great - just subscribe to them on iTunes. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Forest that is Ours

Sunday Wendy and I ventured into our backyard - we just aren't 100% sure where it ends.

It finally is starting to look like fall around here. Good thing too - since it is practically thanksgiving. I think it was still in the 80s last week, but is generally starting to get colder. Also, I think it really has only rained maybe 4 or 5 times since we've been here. Thats once a month at best!

This is right out our back door off the deck.

All this is literally just a couple hundred feet out of our backyard - I know - everyone gets it - we live in a forest.

This last one is leading back into the backyard.

On a totally unrelated note - I got the EVDO service from Verizon to work on my Blackberry for work - it was basically released today I think. I ended up giving a code that I read on a forum to verizon tech support - they had no idea what it was - and after upgrading the OS on it the speed is much faster!

And I've been practicing the new sax - I'll post some actual pictures of it soon. It is a little more worn as far as the finish goes than I expected, but still very nice. I am no out of practice. The first time picking it back up I felt at about the 7th grade level. Now I've progressed to maybe where I was coming in as a freshman in high school. I think this really will take at least half a year to get close to where I was before. Hey, it's a hobby at least that I have other than computers.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Omega or Model 162

Ok, so I bought an Alto Sax off of eBay.
Click here to see the auction itself.

My "Vito" - while being tried and true and surviving a couple of floor races down third hall as well as going through 4 years of marching band in high school (twice - in 5th grade it was purchased from a graduating senior from Marian Catholic) I told myself I would not play it anymore until I had something decent to play on. Besides, I was tired of gluing the octave key back on the neck of the horn using superglue and rubber bands to keep it on.

That was 1996, and I haven't played since. I would like to say it is because I didn't have something decent to play on - but if it were important enough to me I would have saved up and bought something before now. I was also convinced I should just invest in a Selmer Super Action 80 Series II or III, a vintage Mark VI, or possibly a more recent Reference 54 (supposedly designed as close to the Mark VI as possible and new). My thinking was, well, these really won't lose value all that much.

Then I realized I don't have like $3500 to get one of these. The cheapest Mark VI I saw that was in decent shape was like $1900, and that was fishy.

So I started looking at other models while still keeping an eye on the Paris models. Then I saw the Ebay post (link above) for a Selmer Model 162. This is definitely made by Selmer USA (different company almost entirely than Selmer Paris) and I know it isn't going to be as good of an instrument, but guess what? I haven't played in 9 years, which is around as long as I played. So while I'm not going to be a beginner, I feel like its going to at least take me about half a year so I can be at least in the same range as I was before - or maybe longer. I think this will be good enough for me, at least unti I decide I'm more serious about playing on a regular basis. I would have killed to have something like this in high school.

I was hoping the auction would not have been bid on much because it wasn't referred to as a Selmer Omega (which it may or may not be - someone know? - most Omegas I've seen online were engraved as such) but the serial number matches some of the Omega range. Either way, I agree with the ebay subject of the auction - it look beautiful. I just hope it sounds okay - which is going to be hard to tell not playing almost for a decade.

So, the instrument should be coming either late this week or early this week. I'm surprised by how little places there are to buy reeds online - there are a few. I'm so excited to go out and get some No 2 (yes - I should have no endurance at all by this point) Vandoren Reeds. Maybe I'll quickly get back up to 3 or 3.5s, but I expect it is going to take a couple of months of practice.

BTW - reeds appear to be almost twice as expensive as I would get them 10 years ago. At least I only paid (well, I'll be making interest free payments to paypal for the next 6 months) $750 instead of $3500 for the saxophone.

I'll post some pictures and thoughts about it once it arrives.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I want a pile as tall as a man and 8 feet wide!!!!

Ok, most men are taller than this pile.

I saw posted in the "free" section of Craigslist - Free Firewood.

The post is still there. All you can haul. Try me. :)

Granted, we don't have a truck or anything, so we just took both of our cars.

We don't have anything other than a fire pit in the backyard to burn the wood so I think this is going to last us a while. I'd call that a Slick Deal! It may have been a 20 minute drive out there and the back seats of both of our cars and trunks are full of pieces of bark and needs to be cleaned now, but we're happy.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I Hope Your Speakers are Turned all the Way Up

And you are at work - whoever you are! :)

I won't leave the audio up for long - but this commercial has been stuck in my head. And now it will be in yours. If you didn't hear the sound, use a different web browser, install Quicktime, or turn your mousepad upside town. And if you are checking out my blog using Firefox on an etch a sketch - put it above your head and shake it to reboot.

I know they are playing this in NC, but I heard this in Illinois at least once before I left. I'm not sure it is nationwide, but Lance Crackers certainly has a weird idea of a commercial.

If you want to hear/see the commercials with Adam Corolla - go to

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Everything is Illuminated

Wendy and I saw Everything is Illuminated on Sunday - after Jason (my brother) said that this movie was generally funny. I think he is just remembering parts of this movie because by the end the movie is definitely not funny.

I mean it did have its "premium" funny moments - overall it was people coming grips with their parts and learning things about their ancestors - and understand more about themselves because of it. I'd recommend going to see it, but keep in mind it is about the Holocaust - so despite what people tell you - while it does have fun moments, it definitely has a serious tone throughout the whole movie.

Today I went to the Microsoft Kick off event for SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005. I'd say I definitely got some out of the SQL portion - some definitely either cool new features in 2005 or ones I just didn't know about in 2000. The Peer to Peer database replication I saw would be nothing short of amazing in a bunch of circumstances. Maybe 2000 did this but I could see a lot of applications utilizing this. Plus the free copy of SQL Server 2005 standard and Visual Studio Standard 2005 (I think) was a nice touch. I'm not a developer so the Visual Studio portion was mostly lost on me.

And this isn't exactly exciting but we got a new kitchen table and chairs (since we didn't have any actual chairs for the other table - they were broken and thrown out in the move). So that kitchen picture a couple of posts ago is now out of date. I guess I'll have to post a new one soon.

And to all of you that are living further north - it was in the 80s today. HA :) Finally part of the reason that I'm leaving here. I'm sure it was unseasonably warm, but I still enjoyed it.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Some Download Links, Movies we've seen, Etc.

First of all, for those of you that play current versions of Grand Theft Auto - the classic verisons of the original GTA and GTA2 and are available for free download. Thats free and legal. It is probably cheesy by today's standards but I honestly could not get into the first person point of view violence. These are all from a top down perspective. I like these better overall.

Anyhow, go to to get your free download for PCs.

The King Kong trailer is available now. I think it has been out since the 3rd. I hadn't seen much of anything about the movie so far, but it does look quite good in my opinion. For those of you who don't know this is Peter Jackson's next production after the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which mean we should trust this will be high quality of some kind. Watch the trailer and see for yourselves.

Wendy and I got tickets to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire at the local IMAX theater on the Saturday after it opens. I haven't seen anything in IMAX in years, let alone a major motion picture - so I hope that goes well.

We also saw Shopgirl last night. This was a little bit sad, but a very good, well acted movie. It was written by Steve Martin and trust me - this is anything but a comedy. Good acting all around. To me it was on caliber with L.A. Story from Steve Martin as well. I really seem to like movies that he writes - although I totally predicted it would also be set in L.A. Don't expect to leave the movie with any warm, fuzzy feelings but you won't be totally depressed either.

The plan today is to see Everything is Illuminated today, but it's really nice outside (supposed to 80 today!) so we'll see if that happens or not.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Surprise Visit

Yesterday, my Dad gave me a call saying he was going to be here today! He was going to be in the area on business so he just got here a little bit earlier to visit Wendy and I. He just saw our place, we talked a bit, and went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant called Est, Est, Est. I think the left the B off of those words, but what do I know?

The food was pretty good and they had cannolli :)

I'm just going to post some pictures of our place mostly for my family which has not seen it other than Frank and my Dad as well as some pictures from today.

Just some general pictures of the interior of the house.

He got to rent a converible for work - How interesting. But I guess it is still mid 70s in November so I can't complain! I guess I live a sheltered life but its my first ride in a convertible with the top down - um, ever. What a rock I live under.