Brain Dump, 03/2015

March 7, 2015 3:21pm
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I haven’t done a post like this in a long time, but after revisiting some of my earliest blog posts I guess I’m feeling nostalgic for something a little different today… 😉

  • I feel like we still have a ridiculous amount to do for Christopher’s birthday party, and whenever I try to think about it I just get overwhelmed by the idea that he’s almost 1 year old already!!!
  • His favorite show by far is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but sometimes I also treat him to the occasional old episode of The Muppet Show and it delights me to no end how amused he gets by the puppets despite their being nearly 50 years old.
  • I bought new seeds the other day to try and resurrect my mini-garden out by the pool – cucumbers, tomatoes, and flowers. The pots are currently filled with weeds that are growing great, so maybe that’s a good omen that I’ll do better this time???
  • I really hated the movie Oblivionyet it seems to be on TV all the time and I end up watching parts of it anyways.
  • I’ve probably been eating way too many peanut butter M&M’s lately.
  • My office is a complete disaster right now because I had to tear my closet apart looking for something and I never put all of the boxes back. I should really pause from writing this and take 10 minutes to put them all back.
  • There – that’s better!
  • Over the last several weeks I’ve found myself inundated with this strange urge to go hiking – not suburban sidewalk hiking, but actually out in the woods and stuff. It’s just that time and scheduling are limited, and I really need a new pair of shoes, and roughly 1,000,000 other excuses…
  • I’ve really been in the mood for plugging in the PS2 and playing a little bit of Grand Theft Auto, but I feel like I have way too much on my plate to justify it right now.
  • I think that the Series 13 set of Lego Minifigs that just came out is possibly my favorite yet, even though my wall display is almost completely full and I’m going to have to redo the entire lot to fit them in.
  • I need to set aside some time and do our taxes one of these days. We’ve finally got all of the paperwork and we should even be getting a refund … I just have little desire to wade through all of my business receipts for the last year to file for it!
  • I hate housework because it feels like such an insurmountable task to me. I look around and see just such a ridiculous amount of stuff to do between the garage to the kitchen to the general clutter – it’s frustrating when even an honest afternoon’s work barely puts a dent in it.
  • I really want to start writing my humor column again, but whenever I think about it, fifteen other things pop up that I should be doing instead.
  • I need a vacation! We’d really like to go on another cruise this year, and possibly go up to Michigan for a week this summer, but logistically with everything else that’s going on I’m not sure whether either of them are actually feasible.
  • I have a feeling that 2015 is going to go by really quick, and I desperately hope that I have some great things to show for it.

When it rains, it rains REALLY REALLY hard…

September 6, 2013 5:30pm
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So this has been a less than stellar week:

  • Paid a bunch of money to finally get the HOA off my back by getting our front yard re-sodded.
  • Discovered that the lawn guys didn’t do a stellar job because the sprinkler system wasn’t working/was half working by the time they finished (admittedly 1 zone was failing when they started).
  • Worried that expensive, new lawn was going to die because sprinklers weren’t working reliably.
  • Spent several hours rooting around the yard to try and figure it out on my own … realized that they couldn’t find some of the sprinkler heads and just laid the new sod down over them anyways instead of telling me.
  • Paid a sprinkler repair guy a bunch of money to come out and fix the sprinkler mess … in two hours, fixed the broken zone, replaced a few broken heads, and in total found 9 sprinkler heads that had been buried under the new sod.
  • Worried about future workings with lawn guys because they’re still supposed to re-plant our garden, plus they mow our grass every week.
  • On a completely unrelated note, went to get in my car for the first time in three weeks … and it won’t start!

😥

a Thanksgiving 2012 Retrospective

November 26, 2012 2:34am
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So what did do over my Thanksgiving vacation, you ask???  😀

THE Meal
…was very good, and I don’t just say that because thankfully we’re already pretty much out of leftovers! We ended up spending Thanksgiving with some friends, on account of not having any family within about 1,000 miles or so, and boy, is it a whole lot easier just showin’ up as opposed to actually buying and preparing all of that stuff yourself! The last couple of years have always been a little crazy anyways because though we’d buy everything to have a full meal, the wife was always in a position that required her to work that day, so it wasn’t uncommon for us to end up consuming the entire meal in a matter of about 30 minutes.

All in all it was a quaint and quiet afternoon, I only got forced to watch a minimal amount of football, and then afterwards I got to go home and play video games all night instead…

Super Mario Galaxy!
So truth be told, this is pretty much what I did the bulk of the last four days … and it was GREAT!!!

Well maybe not so much productivity-wise unless you count Getting Stars to be productive, which I actually hope that you do because by the end of the weekend I think overall I had nabbed about 20 new ones! I honestly hadn’t even plugged in our Wii after moving this summer, so it’d been quite a while since I’d even held a controller, but once I popped in that disc and got settled into the couch, I really didn’t have much motivation to do anything but pursue stars around the galaxy to try and help a familiar plumber save his lady friend and whatnot.

And some of the levels I’m at now are really hard! I ended up resorting to YouTube walkthroughs for at least a couple of them – basically I only had a couple things before I could beat the game on Wednesday, so Thursday-Sunday were thereafter spent trying to collect all of the purple coins and do some of the other secret levels that you don’t find until way later in the game. Every so often I’d finally just get too frustrated and have to go hunt down one of the few normal levels that I hadn’t completed yet as sort of a sanity check.

At the time of writing this, I think I have about 89 stars collected, which still means that I’ve got 31 left to go for 100% completion?!

That’s gonna be tough because I really, really hate those Cosmic Mario races, and rumor has it there are also Cosmic Luigi races to unlock that are even worse… 🙁

Exercise … or a Lack Thereof…
It bugs me that I haven’t been able to do more of this because I got really motivated Tuesday & Wednesday, and then after that … nothing.

I don’t really like walking during the day, so I wait until nighttime but the last couple of days it’s just gotten ridiculously cold. So cold that I pretty much just want to curl up on the couch with Cleo and play video games…

Snuggle Puppy
No, not that one – Mom, please stop singing…

I think Cleo enjoyed me not being locked away at my computer desk the whole time because hey, the couch is more comfier and besides, she never asks for a turn at my game, either! 😉

Creative-Type Stuff
I didn’t really do as much as I wanted to on account of an unruly number of stars to collect, but I did put together a nice, little feature for Just Laugh that should be going up in the next couple of days. The first new feature of the new site, in fact – so there!

Other than that, well, I guess you could say that I probably won’t be playing Mario again for a while – back to work. 😕

Moving Day Summary Post

August 12, 2012 1:56pm
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What. A. Day.

The Movers … A+ Once Again
Last year when we moved, I said that I’d never move again without paying people to do all of the heavy lifting for us. This year we did the same once again and despite hauling a ton of stuff myself because of a fear of not fitting it all in the truck, it was still nice to just have somebody who’s not me to man-handle all of the furniture and other ridiculously heavy stuff that maybe wouldn’t be quite as daunting if I were 10 years younger and in a little better shape!

Tip of the hat to Upscale Movers of Brandon, FL – made my life on Saturday a lot easier… 🙂

Goodbye, Couch
One of the nice unexpected things that came out of hiring movers is that they even helped me haul my old couch to the dump on the way to our new house. I had planned on just trying to do it myself before they showed up that afternoon, but they ended up being early and things ran quicker than expected anyways, so instead of me making a special trip with just the couch, we ended up cramming it on the back with everything else and they followed me to the dump to help me unload the beast!

Probably a lot easier than me having to shove it off the end of the truck all by myself, I would think!

Mind you, it was a little sad to see her go – this was my bachelor couch that I bought back in 2003 just after I moved here and I spent many a night up late watching movies and playing video games in her warmth … but then again, Sara thought that it was getting pretty disgusting and Cleo had managed to chew away about 1/3 of the cushions, so maybe it was finally time for it to go to a better place…

…buried deep within the Earth in a pile of other disgusting garbage just like it…  😮

Hello, TWiT!
On the upside, while traveling back and forth I’ve spent a lot of time revisiting an old favorite podcast, This Week in Tech, that had kind of fallen off my radar for some time. I typically don’t have as much time to listen to these as I used to, so when I did pull up TWiT I’d usually just skim the archives until I found a panel filled with people who I like and just grab that one to tide me over … but in this case, being in far too much of a rush to cherry pick (and needing a lot more content to listen to!), I ended up just grabbing the last dozen or so episodes and have been listening to them back to back as I travel and scrub and so on and so forth.

Good times … maybe I need to find a way to get TWiT back into some sort of normal rotation when I’m out walking the dog or something, whenever that finally gets back to normal again!

Stupid Cop Area
I honestly didn’t even realize that this existed until I had to start making loops back and forth hauling stuff up from the new house, but apparently there’s about a half a mile stretch of road near our old house where the speed limit drops from 45 – 30 mph super fast because of a school there, and I’ve been witnessing cops pulling people over there in a speed trap all hours of the day and night.

A) school isn’t even in session for another week!

B) they were still nailing people there at 12:30am last night

I guess this is the same place where Sara actually got a warning a few months back … I don’t as much mind them cracking down during school hours, but during a weekend in the middle of the night seems a bit excessive when we have actual drunk drivers that could be dealt with elsewhere in the community. I’m pretty sure that strip of land in front of the middle school will be just fine…

Free Dinner!
Quite possibly the highlight of the day, we got a surprise in the mail from our real estate agent – a nice thank you card for being awesome buyers along with a gift card to Applebee’s to grab some dinner! And while I’m not the biggest fan of Applebee’s by far, at that point pretty much  sustenance was the only requirement for dinner after exhausting damn near every takeout joint in the area, but it was certainly appreciated very much nonetheless!

Whew…
Needless to say, yesterday ended up being a ridiculously long day, culminating with me finally starting to get my office put together here at the new house right around 2:00am. Our plan today is simply one of rest – we’ve still got tons to do in both locations, but I’ve also got a lot of writing and other stuff to catch up on and obviously we’ve also got scads of unpacking to do around here, so we thought it best to take a bit of a break today in preparation for even more work to come in the future before we can finally say that we’re DONE with the old house and can officially get settled into this one.

Did I miss anything?!?!?!   😆

I don’t know why I was so excited to get things moving with our new house … because now I’m just really, really tired…  😯

Appliance Hunting
We need them.

Specifically a washer & dryer, and a refrigerator.

I think we spent most of Saturday trying to figure this one out – who has the ones we want, at the best prices, and will actually give us credit to purchase said appliances. Also had some confusion to clear up about coupons that we had been given, and confirmed that there’s pretty much no reason to ever shop for appliances at Sears because the coupons they issued were for 10-25% off regular prices, not their sales prices … meaning when you actually do the math, it’s just cheaper to buy from somebody else.

In the end we ended up getting our washer & dryer from Best Buy, and our refrigerator from Lowe’s. We actually wanted to get it all from Best Buy, but we had credit issues and they couldn’t do it, so splitting the order up was the only way for us to avoid either keeping a cooler filled with ice in the kitchen or making regular trips down to the river to scrub the dirt from our getups…

Still More Locks?!?!?!
Just when I thought this couldn’t get any more ridiculous … we found another lock … this one holding the garage door shut. I swear, this lady must’ve gotten a hell of a deal on padlocks because she literally had seven of them securing every gate, fence, and questionable entry point around this damn house of ours!!!

Of course, the bitch (yes, she’s a bitch for being this irresponsible and not bending over backwards to get everything unlocked for us at this point!) couldn’t be bothered to answer her phone or send somebody out, so our exceedingly awesome agent actually went out and bought a pair of bolt cutters to clip the thing off himself!

Chris Henry, Signature Realty – ladies and gentlemen! I’ll definitely be sure to trumpet his praise more in a later post when all is said and done, but as of right now, just go ahead and assume that he’s a legend and you’ll have a good start at how great of an experience we’ve had working with this guy.  :mrgreen:

So Many Upgrades, So Little Money
For a little fun the other night, we sat down and made a list – a pie in the sky kind of list of everything that we’d like to do around our new house someday.

As of right now, we can’t afford to do any of those things!

Some aren’t that bad, like painting and hanging some shelves here and there, but I’d also like to completely overhaul the “garden” out front and get it looking a little more tropical, plus we’ve got electronics that desperately need to get upgraded, maybe eventually cabinets that could be refinished or altogether replaced.

I’ve already been told that the work of a homeowner is never done and there’s always something else to do next weekend. As of tonight we’ve officially got a charge card with Lowe’s, so I guess maybe they can come over and we can build something together…

What’s that – they’ve got a new slogan now???

“Never stop improving.”

Not for nothing, but that’s sounds like it could be really, really expensive…  😕

Dude, Where’d My Weekend Go?!
The rest of the time was pretty much just a blur – running back and forth, trying to get things ready in one place while also starting to clean things up in the other. Our official moving day is now only 6 days away, so I suppose it would be safe to assume that sheer and utter panic ought to be setting in for the duration just about anytime now.

On one hand, 18 more days until we have to move out of the new house doesn’t seem so bad, but on the other hand, I have other fingers that say I’d better stop counting digits and start getting to work!

I guess you could say that today was kind of a randomly productive day…

We couldn’t really go watch fireworks anywhere because puppy is absolutely terrified of them this year, so instead we just hung around the house for the most part.

A fair amount of overdue cleaning got done in preparation for my in-laws coming to visit next week.  😯

Between cleaning bouts, we squeezed in a good couple of hours revisiting Super Mario Bros. Wii, the game that’s been systematically designed to test the strength of your marriage by seeing how many times your spouse can accidentally toss you off the screen without invoking physical violence!  😯 😯

Near the end of the night, we even spent a little more time than intended putting together some of Sara’s old puzzles … more than intended mainly because while moving them around in preparation for gluing them permanently, yours truly on several occasions somehow managed to drop significant portions of each puzzle on the floor!  😯 😯 😯

So in short – I managed to make it through another 4th of July without getting divorced, and there was much rejoicing!!!

Lazy, and also Rainy Sunday…

June 24, 2012 11:58pm
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Today was a very lazy, lay around the house kind of day, but ultimately I think we both really needed it.

We ended up going over to the Magic Kingdom for dinner & fireworks last night and were up pretty late, and I honestly didn’t even realize until I started seeing the posts on Facebook that apparently there was a tropical storm hovering over us, just waiting to dump buckets upon buckets of rain on our heads at any given moment…  😯

Luckily, we were able to make it to the store and back for food without getting too ridiculously soaked (although my umbrella did get quite the workout!), and after that we pretty much spent the rest of the day just laying about, eating junk food and watching bad movies to pass the time. My choice of film was Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which I had thought I remembered someone had said that it “wasn’t that bad,” but clearly they only stayed for the first half of the movie if that was their takeaway opinion of the flick. Sara’s choice was I Don’t Know How She Does It, which was just fucking terrible really from start to finish.

During a brief intermission so that I could make brownies and do some dishes, we also watched the episode of The Simpsons where Bart and the other superstars get sent away to Capital City in an attempt to avoid them dragging down the school’s standardized testing scores, so at least that was quality entertainment.  😀

Also, throughout the course of the day we got a veritable crap-ton of rain, to the point where the pool was overflowing and there was a good couple of inches of standing water out on our covered patio in the back! Cleo wasn’t at all happy about still being forced outside in the rain to go pee. Rumor has it other parts of town closer to the water got hit a lot worse, so she should be happy she didn’t need to wear a life jacket while she was out there…  😛

Yesterday was a lot of fun, albeit also particularly damp and also just a wee bit scary!

A Day at the Water Park
We ended up going over to Aquatica (Sea World’s water park) in Orlando as an early celebration of my sister-in-law’s birthday. It’s always a little weird for me to walk around any non-Disney theme park because I tend to compare and contrast the crap out of them, but overall I think we all ended up having a pretty good time. If I do the math, we were really only able to do the slides and stuff for maybe 3-4 hours … we got there around noon, and then some really ugly weather rolled in mid-afternoon and pretty much closed everything down until we finally decided to throw in the towel … pun intended. 😉

I’m not sure how much I want to go into everything because I think I’m going to maybe do something comparing the park to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon (which we visited for my birthday last year), but on average I thought that the attractions at Typhoon Lagoon were all a lot better designed than the ones at Aquatica. Their star attraction, the Dolphin Plunge, which features clear slide tubes running underwater where you’re supposed to be able to see Commerson’s dolphins swimming around, ended up going by so fast that I really couldn’t see much of anything except that I knew I was underwater.

We also had a bit of a mishap on HooRoo Run, which we thought all 3 of us could ride on together, but had overlooked until halfway up the tower that although we met the weight requirement, there was also a height requirement that the 3rd rider needed to be under 5 feet tall. And the reason that this posed a problem was the goofy seating configurations that they offered – 2 or 3 riders, but no single-riders. This is where I felt Aquatica really dropped the ball because when we went to board the tube and the lifeguard pointed out our dilemma … that was about it. She didn’t suggest for me to wait and see if there was another single rider who I could ride with, or even hop over to the other slide on the same tower that did allow for single-riders so that I could at least ride something … instead, I let the two girls go down together, and I had to walk back down the entire six flights of stairs back to the ground by myself.  😳

Nonetheless, we all still had a fun day … there was at least one slide that all three of us were quite convinced we were going to die on (Walhalla Wave) because we damn near flipped our tube inside the pitch black part of the slide … but I think we got to do most of what we wanted before the gigantic thunderstorm moved in and brought a series of closures that they never really recovered from. I was a little bummed that we didn’t really get to do the lazy river, aside from maybe 50 feet of it which feeds one of the slides in a weird way, anyways … although upon a second glance at the park map, that may have actually been half the river to boot, so maybe it wasn’t such a big deal to pass on after all! 😯

The park is definitely a lot smaller than Typhoon Lagoon is and if we’d had maybe another hour (or just waited for lunch instead of trying to beat the first sign of rain), we’d have likely gotten everything we wanted to do in with time to spare.

A Night at the Movies
Anyways, it was maybe around 5:30pm when we finally decided that it wasn’t worth waiting around any longer to see if they were going to re-open the attractions before the park closed at 7pm, so instead we decided to pack things up, get changed, and head on over to Downtown Disney to treat Christina to a birthday dinner at the AMC Dine-In Theatre – one of our favorite places to eat these days! 🙂

The movie was Prometheus … in truth, our third choice – the first being Snow White and the Huntsman, which was completely sold out, and second The Avengers, which I would’ve gladly seen again if not for the only seats available being in the front row … so even though it looked scary, I sucked it up anyways in the name of not heading home early, downed a bit of liquid courage even though the truly scary parts wouldn’t end up coming until halfway through the movie, and we dined upon a mighty, yet excessive feast while we watched scientists break pretty much every rule of being a scientist as they explored the ancient ruins of mankind’s creators…

Now I cannot tell a lie – in retrospect, apparently there were a ton of things that went over my head because when I got home I probably spent another three hours reading through this thread on reddit that analyzes and overanalyzes every facet of the movie, picking it apart in true Internet style, but also offering a lot of interesting insight that I didn’t really pick up when my main focuses were “I think there might still be a little rangoon dip left!” and “Don’t look now – the scary part might not be over yet!!!”

Hell, I didn’t even realize that it was a prequel to Aliens until the last 15 seconds of the movie! 😯

That said, it was still more or less entertaining and gave us something to do that night while we dined on succulent dishes a’plenty, and sometimes, you really can’t ask for much more than that… 😛

Weekend Fun in Pictures

March 18, 2012 10:02pm
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D&D Adventuring Fun! – Despite being a man down, we still managed to get ourselves into a world of trouble wandering around the Shadowfell, but hey, any session that ends with the party still being alive on that plane is actually a pretty good one, am I right?!

Saturday Studios Fun! – Spent the day bumming around Disney with Sara as planned – hit a lot of old favorites, not to mention got two passes at Toy Story Mania, plus we watched Fantasmic, where I apparently got some pretty sweet looking photos of the finale! Looking forward to posting those shortly over on that Disney site of mine…

Puppy Pool Party Fun! – Cleo had one of her brothers over to celebrate their birthday, as you can see quite evidently below with their joyful romps in Cleo’s new pool! And people say that we spoil our puppy…  8)

Good times, good times…

Something I kind of hinted at in a post earlier this week – I’m actually taking a break this weekend!!!  :mrgreen:

It was actually supposed to be a well-deserved break for finishing a project that I abruptly started mid-February, but it’s actually taking a little longer than I had anticipated, as just about everything that I’ve ever done seems to end up doing. Nonetheless, Sara and I have both really been yearning to go over to Disney and we’ve missed out on a couple of other opportunities for financial reasons, so it was time to just bite the bullet and put the work on hold for a weekend.

On top of that, Sunday is actually our puppy’s first birthday, so we’re having some of her doggie friends over for her to play with and it’ll end up being a relaxing day to get other stuff done around the house to boot…

Friday Night – D&D
The continuing adventures of the bi-weekly campaign that I’ve been playing in for the last 8 months now – the anticipation is actually kind of high right now because we just recently had a pretty major turning point in that mysteriously as of our last session we found ourselves on another plane, so tonight’s game should be especially interesting as we try to figure out where in the heck we actually are and even more importantly, how in the world we’re supposed to actually get back home again!

Saturday – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
I honestly can’t even remember the last time we’ve been to this park, which is kind of sad! I know we didn’t end up making it over for the Osborne Lights last year, and it seems like some of the best rides were down when we came before that, so I’m kinda just looking forward to doing everything in the 8 or 9 hours that we’ll be over there tomorrow. The park is open until 10pm with two showings of Fantasmic, so hopefully we won’t have any problems hitting everything in addition to seeing fireworks at the end of the day, too. Should be lots to do – Toy Story Mania (obviously), the new Star Tours, Coaster and Tower, I’d even like to sit down for Indiana Jones … looking forward to a fun day!

Sunday – Cleo’s 1st Birthday Party
I can’t believe that we’ve had this puppy for almost a year already! I say almost because I guess technically we didn’t really get her until  6 or 8 weeks or something, but it’s still crazy to think that there was a time before that when she wasn’t a part of our family because she’s very much loved and feels right at home with us. For me, it’s especially neat to see the personality that she’s developed over the last 12 months … granted, sometimes a bit obnoxious (but who isn’t?!), but also very eager and curious, protective and sometimes sensitive, and generally at least what I’d like to consider overall pretty happy, too. Plus, for the most part she’s completely stopped peeing and pooping in the house, so if that’s not cause for a celebration, then I don’t know what is…  😀

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