Wednesday, October 31, 2007

NaNoWriMo

Just 45 minutes until kickoff. Here's the site for anyone who still wants to join.

Happy Halloween



The traditional pumpkins look good but I'm very happy with the white one. I cut open a glow-stick and drizzled it all over it. The last picture is after it's candle was blown out. It looks like a Decepticon pumpkin or something.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Random Monday Night Stuff

  • This was going to be a series of pictures of pumpkin carving and Aurelia but Blogger doesn't seem to want to post pictures tonight. Maybe tomorrow.
  • Week two of the great day care experiment started today. We're setting into a routine which is nice. Today I got to explain why she had a bit of pumpkin on her forehead. I'm sure grade school is much the same.
  • Mom was over on Saturday (her version is here). She told me that it had been hard to picture me as a father before Relia came along. That makes sense as I've been able to avoid having this level of responsibility so far. This weekend was kind of a test as there was lots of fussiness and the usual stuff didn't always work. The FP Gal asks if I still want twins. Of course I do! I didn't really understand how much work this would be but that doesn't mean I thought it would be a picnic. (Think of it, two little girls like Aurelia, who wouldn't want that?)
  • The baseball playoffs are done and they could hardly have been less exciting. Out of seven series, five of them were sweeps. Very few close games. Too many off days. The last point is completely in MLB's control and I hope they take it seriously. One of baseball's charms is it's dailiness. If we wanted three games a week, we'd watch basketball or hockey.
  • Speaking of sports topics, if this Viking team doesn't make a serious turnaround I want a new head coach. Bring in Parcells or someone like that. We've got a great running back, most of a great defense and some good players on the O-line. Some good coach has to be interested in doing something with that.
  • That's it!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Crazy

Click here.

Doctor Who

Back in September, I mentioned that I'd been tipped off to some Doctor Who episodes that were on YouTube. It seems that the BBC pulled the plug on that so they've been taken down. Can't say that I blame them, because there is an obvious market for the classic episodes and they could potentially lose some money there. Anyway the videos wet my appetite for more of the old show. Luckily, I've got my own stash.
Back in the '80's, when my brother and I got hooked on the show, I started taping them. A full story was (usually) 90 minutes long so if you used the extra long play option you could fit four of them on a tape. I've lugged them around with me for years but didn't have any real hope that the quality would be high enough to watch. The tapes are more than twenty years old after all (how did that happen?!?).
Well...it turns out that they survived surprisingly well. There are some tapes missing and some shows that I must have missed in there but I've got most of the fourth Doctor and all but one of the fifth. This has been my consolation for being pinned to the couch by Relia. The whole thing (recording and now watching) is the easily the second dorkiest thing I've ever done.
How do they look? The acting and writing is Masterpiece Theater quality (with many of the same actors) while the sets look a touch better than a high school play. The production quality picks up a bit when the fifth Doctor comes in. Some of it's camp and some if it is quite clever. It's all fun.
The good Doctor is still around as the series continued in 2005 (can be seen on the Sci-Fi channel and BBC America). I also found this great spoof. (The bit about the tin-foil makes the whole thing.)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Shoot 'em if you got 'em

Today was a visit to the doctor. For me this time. After putting this off for...oh...five years or so, I had a check up. Having an actual real live child kind of puts some things in perspective, too.
The high points:
  • That thing on my leg? Not leprosy and no, amputation isn't the answer. Probably eczema and there are things to do for it.
  • Blood pressure is good. Pulse was fine. Both hearts sound fine.
  • No, they couldn't find anything wrong that would justify two weeks in a tropical location. He promised to consult his books and see if he could prepare anything for the next time. On a related note, there is no such thing as 'bikini-deficiency'.
  • They took a blood sample so they can check my cholesterol. The lab assistant said that she'd try to make me pass out so I'd miss work but she didn't follow through. There is such a thing as taking the Hippocratic oath too seriously.
  • On the other hand, the exact combination of not eating for twelve hours before a check up, getting flu and tetanus shots and having blood drawn did some kind of number on me. A quick sick call to work and a four hour nap later and I felt much better. Probably nothing more than the power of suggestion.
  • I feel better for having gone.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stay at home dad

At least today. Maybe I should back up. Yesterday morning was the first time that I had to get poor Relia ready for day-care without the FP Gal around to help out. I got her up and changed without any problem. She was quiet enough for me to have some cereal and take care of morning stuff. Then it started to be time to go. I hate being late (something that having a baby around will certainly test). I also hate forgetting to bring something that I should have. So I strapped her into her car seat and looked around to see what I needed to bring. Consulted my list from Monday. I'd forgotten an extra outfit! Ran upstairs and got one. Got the milk. The only thing I needed was something to cover her with for the ride over. Was that a blanket? Could be a dishtowel. Well...it'll work as a blanket, right? (It was a dishtowel.) Got her there in time and with everything she needed. Too much in fact. Oh well, I'm new at this.
So back to today. Got her up and changed and even started some laundry. And then the fussiness started. One of those days where she couldn't be left alone for even a minute. Wailed if her pacifier got out and couldn't keep it in on her own. The only thing that calmed her down was sleeping on my chest while I watched TV. The only problem was that I didn't want to spend all day on the couch! I couldn't even reach the bon-bons.
The FP Gal ran into the same problem later in the day and I'm told that even with her parents (so far a golden touch) she was fussy. Just one of those days. Or maybe gas.
Next time we have a day like this we're going to try a car ride.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Best of the 00's

I asked the movie question to some people at work today and got lots of blank stares. (This also happens when I ask "Who has been eating my paste?", but that's not important right now.) Seriously, I can list at least a dozen movies from the 90's that will be nice and comfy on 'all time' movie lists:
Schindler's List
Saving Private Ryan
Goodfellas
Unforgiven
Fight Club
Shawshank Redemption
Pulp Fiction
Forrest Gump
Titanic
Life is Beautiful
Silence of the Lambs
Braveheart

These may not be your cup of tea, but they're all widely recognized. The 00's list is pretty short and I don't really know why. I should say that I'm not trying to run down modern film-making. There are many many good movies out there. Looking at the list of Best Picture nominees I noticed that there are very few 'bad' movies there. Just not many outstanding ones either.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Best recent movie

So I mentioned Amazon's list of essential movies and Heidi wondered where the recent movies are. Well...let me put forth two theories. The first is that movies have to sit for awhile before we can judge how good they really are. We've all had that movie that we loved at the time but ten years later we think, "Really? Is that all there was to it?". The flip side is that movies that have been around for decades have enormous amounts of goodwill built up for them. That's why these lists are dominated by movies made in the 30's, 40's and 50's.
My second theory is that over the last ten years we've seen an explosion in the number of movies that are available for us. Take a look at the list of 2006 movies here. I count 192 movies in wide release (and another 100 or so in limited release). That's almost four new movies at the cineplex every weekend. This flood of movies creates so much noise that it's hard for a single movie to stand out.
(I've also got a third theory that suggests that Hollywood makes better films when there's a Democrat in the White House. I need to work on the background reason but if you look at the overall film industry since 1980 or so you'll see what I mean.)
Ok. So my question is this, what's the best movie since 2000? Here's the list of Best Picture nominees:
2000 (73rd)

Chocolat
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Erin Brockovich
*Gladiator
Traffic

2001 (74th)

*A Beautiful Mind
Gosford Park
In the Bedroom
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Moulin Rouge

2002 (75th)

*Chicago
Gangs of New York
The Hours
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Pianist

2003 (76th)

*The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lost in Translation
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Mystic River
Seabiscuit

2004 (77th)
The Aviator
Finding Neverland
*Million Dollar Baby
Ray
Sideways

2005 (78th)

Brokeback Mountain
Capote
*Crash
Good Night, and Good Luck.
Munich

2006 (79th)
Babel
*The Departed
Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

I'd argue that the LOTR movies are all time good but what else? I loved 'Moulin Rouge' but will people remember it in 2041? How about 'The Hours'? Or 'Capote'? 'Babel'? One movie not on this list, 'Passion of the Christ' will be long remembered but certainly not by film critics.
And this is just the hoity-toity serious films. What's the best comedy so far this decade? Maybe the first 'Pirates of the Caribbean'? 'Anchorman'? What else?

If you don't want to waste part of your day

Don't go here. (h/t The Corner.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

100 Essential DVD's

(Via Instapundit.) Amazon has a list of 100 essential DVD's that (apparently) everyone should own. They've offered discounts on all of them, which makes this an even more interesting list. Let's break it down:
  • We've got 21 of them (and another on VHS). That's more than I expected. Can anyone out there top that? I'm counting any version, not just the special editions.
  • Biggest surprise for placement? 'Ordinary People' at number 5. Didn't make AFI's top 100 but it cracks the top ten for Amazon. This must be someone's personal favorite...or they had a bunch leftover in stock. (Only 88 spots higher than 'Saving Private Ryan'.)
  • The highest rated Hitchcock film is 'Rear Window'. Couldn't agree more.
  • Some very nice, below-the-radar films on this list. 'Cinema Paradiso' at 12 is a very nice Italian film. 'My Neighbor Totoro' at 85, is a sweet film about two young children balancing fantasy with a sick mother.
  • Some overrated films here too. #46, 2001 A Space Odyssey (possibly the most boring movie ever). #78, 'The Usual Suspects'. #98, 'Blue Velvet'.
  • For DVD owning, I think of movies that I'd want to watch and rewatch. That means more comedies. Where's 'Ferris Bueller'? And while there are plenty of good thrillers, I'd watch 'Hunt for Red October' ahead of about half of these.
Still, it's a good list and Amazon deserves credit for it.

Day care update

First things first, things went just fine. The FP Gal reports that she didn't seem phased by the experience. When I got there, they showed me where to put the milk and other stuff. It all seems pretty straightforward. I just hope I don't forget anything some morning.
One day down...

First day of day care

Keep us in your thoughts, please. The FP Gal is worried about the psychological stuff (My baby!). I'm worried about the logistical things. I need to bring:
  • The baby.
  • Her medical forms.
  • An extra outfit.
  • A pacifier on a clip.
  • Bottles (even more important than baby from what I'm told).
Wish us luck!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Happy birthday, Pop!

So, my dad turns 63 today. He came up to celebrate with us (and spend some time with Aurelia). We got to watch the Vikings play. Let's just say that holding his granddaughter probably overshadowed the Vikings offense.
It was a fine day.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Smiley

Overheard

"Do those hands taste good? Would you prefer a rasser [pacifier]? That's the problem with hands, they keep moving away from the mouth."

License pics

Heidi asked for it, so here they are. The old ones are on the top, new on the bottom. I think the new picture is a good change for me. A little better smile and my nose and left eye look better. The glasses are good for me.
The FP Gal has very interesting looks. The top one is where I accused her of 'pondering the eternal'. She looks a bit like Dave at the end of '2001'. The bottom one is my fault. Not that she looks bad, it's just that I failed to get her to give a big smile for the shot. When they expire in a few years, I'll do better. I promise.

French Connection - 1971

This is the movie that launched a thousand cop shows. It's gritty and violent and the police aren't really the good guys. Is it good? Hard to say. This is another case of 'establishing the genre' and then 'the genre improves'. It sounds like it was quite something back in 1971 when it came out.
It's known for the car chase (watch it here). Sometimes known as the best car chase ever, it involves a car trying to race an elevated train to the next station. The car is driven through intersections without regard to traffic laws or safety. I think it's overrated. One detail that impress me though, according to Wikipedia:
Many of the shots in the scene were "real", in that Hackman actually drove the car at high speeds through uncontrolled traffic and red lights (legendary stunt driver Bill Hickman, who also had a small role in the film as FBI agent Mulderig, handled many others and outlined the entire chase with Friedkin and D'antoni), with Friedkin running a camera from the backseat while wrapped in a carpet for protection. The production team received no prior permission from the city for such a dangerous stunt, but they had the creative consulting and clout provided to them by Eddie EganSonny Grosso, (which allowed normal protocol for location shooting like permits and scheduling to be circumvented) and the only precaution taken was to place a "gumdrop" police siren on the car's roof and blare the horn. Other shots involved stunt drivers who were supposed to barely miss hitting the speeding car, but due to errors in timing accidental collisions occurred and were left in the final film.
Holy cats! Can you imagine how much trouble a film crew would get in if they just ran crazy through traffic today? (Insert Lindsay Lohan joke here.)
This movie really put Gene Hackman on the map. (Roy Scheider, too, but he hasn't quite enjoyed the career trajectory that Hackman has.) It's hard (for me at least) to think of Hackman as a hard drinking, womanizing, tough guy cop.
A good movie for it's type but not a great one.

2 Month Checkup

So we took Aurelia in for her two month check up today. Everything looks good and there's no concern for her. The doctor was surprised that she's rolling over on her own and that she likes to stand. Apparently, that's four month old behavior. We didn't tell the doc that she's started Driver's Training. She's advanced but that might be pushing it.
This is the check up with all the needles. Otherwise known as 'the Parent Killer'. They started off with some kind of medicine that was sweet tasting. Just kept squirting it in until it was all swallowed. Then came shot one. Insert, pause, scream, stop (with indignant look). Shot two, insert, scream and then crying. Shots three and four just kept the crying going. But then came the pacifier and everything was just fine. The FP Gal made it without much problem. She's a trooper. (Me? I was stoic and calm. That's what I bring to this whole thing, right?)
Next appointment isn't for a few months. Updates as needed.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well, duh


This is why the fall reminds me of U2.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Back to work

Sorry about the missed post yesterday. Got home from work and was just exhausted. Even beat the FP Gal to bed (which almost never happens). Woke up this morning and really wanted to just stay home and sleep in. But...a quick chat with the wife and I was reminded that I have to save the sick days for actual real sickness.
So I'm off to a land where normal adult people blame me for the whims of airlines. And people with strange names think it's unreasonable that they would have to spell them out to have them entered correctly. With any luck I'll also get some people complaining about the terms of service that their company negotiated with ours. Those are always a blast!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Random Monday Night Stuff

  • Cold and rainy again today. It seems like we've had this exact same day for about a month now. People at work are getting cranky about it. Me? Still loving it. I must have been a duck in a former life. Or a clump of moss.
  • Speaking of work, not sure if you saw this story about a woman who was denied boarding a plane in Phoenix and accidentally killed herself while in police custody. There was a somewhat overwrought opinion piece here (via Instapundit). What happened was a tragedy but in no way is the airline responsible for her death. I don't like the industry wide policy of overbooking at all but it happens and the way to deal with it (as with most things) is with patience. This poor ladies problems were profound and I'm sorry for her but trying to inflate her personal tragedy with things like seating policies is just wrong.
  • Speaking of Instapundit, he's found a way of dealing with speeders that I bet even Hans would appreciate. This approach would only work for about seven months here in Minnesota and would cause blindness in Wisconsin.
  • Did I mention airline policies? The first call I got today was about a traveler who got confused by an email and decided to skip a segment of his travel, going by car instead of flying. If he'd just gone to the airport he would have found his entire ticket cancelled and possibly forfeit. If I could send one message to the world, it would be this: airline regulations are incredibly complicated and it's easy to get screwed. If you're planning on making any changes whatsoever to your ticketed travel, it will be expensive and may involve other inconveniences like awful flight times. Call the airline or your travel agent. Trust me on this.
  • Aurelia is becoming more and more like a real person every day. I know I should have expected this but...somehow I didn't. I'll blame it on raising kittens. Their personality plateau happens early. Relia will just keep...growing up. (Filed under: Things They Don't Tell You Beforehand.)
  • Did you know that today was 'White Cane Safety Day'? Remember, they're only worth half points if they're in the crosswalk.
  • That's it!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Not the only one who enjoyed the game...


Classic movies

The FP Gal and I were discussing classic movies and how hard it will be to keep the twists and surprises hidden. Probably before she even has a chance (or desire) to see these movies, Relia will find out:
  • What Rosebud was.
  • Who Vadar's son was. (And daughter. And repair droid. And erector project.)
  • That Rhett didn't give a damn.
  • The story behind Norman Bates mother.
  • Bruce Willis's problem in 'The Sixth Sense'.
  • Why the 'Crying Game' made some people cry.
  • The fate of Bambi's mother.
  • Old Yeller and hydrophobia.
  • The fate of Gandalf and the Balrog.
Kinda sad, no?

Vikings update

So...that Adrian Peterson just might be good, huh?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Darjeeling Limited - 2007

(Today we had time and willing babysitters so we got that movie in after all...)
Three brothers meet on a train in India. They haven't talked in over a year, not since the funeral. All three are messed up in some way, the oldest most visibly since he crashed his motorcycle and planted his face into a hillside. They meet and begin to trade pharmaceuticals. They also trade agreements. This is to be a spiritual journey and they want to get it right. The only problem is that they have no idea how to do so.
Each of them is broken in some way and this movie is about them trying to get the pieces to fit. There are laughs and surprises and some tragedy along the way. The movie also shows the exotic side of India.
It's a Wes Anderson film and that means that it's humorous for the overall absurd situation rather than the punchlines. Like 'The Royal Tennenbaums' it focuses on an family and the strange rules that they live by. If you've enjoyed his others, you'll like this one too. Not a great movie, but enjoyable and well worth watching.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Day off and "Pondering the Eternal"

Again, it seems it's harder to post something on a day off than on a busy day. No idea why that is. There is a Chinese proverb that "if you want something done you should give it to a busy person". That probably applies here. (Always makes me think of Jodi.)
I have a favorite restaurant. It involves billions of burgers and a pair of arches. I also have a second favorite restaurant, Panera. They make yummy soup and sandwiches and (even better) sell them together in a simple combo. I enjoy going there, especially with my lovely wife but we have a problem. She always seems to go there with other people. Today I took the reins in my own hands and convinced her that we should go there together. We met with her Mom (who I'm talking into doing NaNoWriMo). All very nice.
Since we were in the area we also got our licenses renewed. I've been kind of looking forward to this because I'd like a new picture. The most recent one was taken the day before surgery to fix my nose. Now that I look a little less like a prizefighter, I was ready for a new shot. The FP Gal and I compared pictures. She looks like she's staring past the camera and is just shy of achieving nirvana.
The lady at the desk was very nice (I know, she was probably new and the DMV will correct that as soon as they can). She took our pictures and was very concerned about glare and whatnot. I do wish that they'd coach people to smile though. The FP Gal did her best to keep from laughing, despite my efforts. Oh well, guess I'll try again in a few years.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wish I was on Vacation

Inconvenient Truths

Normally, I keep the political stuff over here but since I reviewed 'An Inconvenient Truth' here back in May, I thought I'd post this here. Let's just say I had some problems with it. Everytime I hear about it being shown in classrooms, it makes me grumpy. Even if the science in it was rock solid, there are still long stretches of the movie that are shot like a campaign video. Putting a viable politician in front of schoolchildren in a movie that portrays him as a savior is just wrong.
Having said that, it didn't hurt my feelings (or sense of objectivity) to hear that a judge in Britain has ruled that the movie can only be shown with a warning label. He's identified nine errors in the film (list here). There is a very real and honest debate to be had about warming but it's not one that Gore's interested in. That's a shame.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Previews

Now that we're all parenty and may never get to see movies in the theater again, I may have to stick to reviewing films by their previews. There are a couple of movies that have caught my eye of late.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age - I've wanted a movie that deals with the Attack of the Spanish Armada for some time now and this one is it. The downside? It's directed by the same guy who did 'Elizabeth' (reviewed here). What did I say then?
This movie is gratuitously violent. Almost in a Bruckheimer sense. It also suffers a serious pacing issue. The movie sets the stage of conflicting intrests, French/Spanish, Catholic/Protestant and even Love/Politics. At each end we wonder what the resolution will be and how it'll turn out. And then Elizabeth tells her advisor to do what he must. What follows is Geoffery Rush killing everybody. This is the movie equivalent of Staples Easy Button. And it feels like a cheat.
Well, let's hope they get this one right.
Across the Universe - This looks like a love story that follows the same musical technique as 'Moulin Rouge' but with all Beatles music. (Althouse reviews it here. Kind of.) I love the idea of this. Hope the follow through is good.
The Darjeeling Limited - A Wes Anderson film, and that's enough to make me want to see it right there. Trailer here. It's about three warring brothers who make a go at reconciliation during a train ride in India.
The Seeker - Boy, do I have low expectations for this movie. It's based on a very good book though, The Dark is Rising. It's about a 14 year old boy who receives a gift and discovers that he is in the middle of an eternal struggle between Light and Dark. The book had a certain Old World charm to it. The movie looks like it's been modernized.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Random Monday Night Stuff

  • Happy Columbus Day (observed). Point of etiquette question; do we wait until the 12th to argue over how to remember Columbus or do we do that on whatever day the Post Office takes off? Not sure on that.
  • Speaking of Columbus, by any modern measure he was not a good man. He enslaved people and in his stint as Governor, had people's hands cut off if they didn't bring regular amounts of gold. (The other side of the argument is that he was a man of his times and that's true too but beside the point I want to make here.) The main cause of death for Native Americans was disease. It makes no sense to hold Europeans responsible for this. They had nothing in their history to tell them that meeting a totally separate civilization would cause epidemics.
  • The Yankees lose! The Yankeeeees lose! Actually, I'm very happy with how the playoffs have gone. I'll be fine with any of these four teams winning it.
  • The bread that the FP Gal mentioned? It now occupies a full third of the refrigerator. We're going to try and wrestle it out to the garbage can tonight. Pray for the garbageman.
  • That's it!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Ninjas

It seems my nephew wants to be a ninja. Well, really, who doesn't. I thought it might help his parents to read up a little on the subject.
First, here's the official Ninja webpage. This tells us what ninjas do and whether or not they are birds. Also, here's a ninja FAQ, in which we learn where to find ninjas and the danger of forests.
Enjoy!

Blogging and the art of Family

The FP Gal and I saw a commercial this morning with a father and daughter sitting down for breakfast together. He makes a comment to her about something and she replies that he seems to know more about her since he started to read her blog. Sound familiar?
I just finished putting together a tator-tot hotdish. It's the recipe from the cookbook that Heidi put together a few years back. Her idea was to gather favorite foods from all over the family and gather them together in one bound book.
Guess the two of them have me thinking of the extended family today. I know that the blog network had been wonderful in keeping in touch with people. If we were relying on phone calls and letters there are many of you that may never have found about Aurelia, much less gotten the day by day details. I've been able to stay current with both my brother and sister, no matter which continent they're on or how badly their hands are hurt. Blogging was almost designed for my mother.
Just about every week I hear from someone about how much they've enjoyed this expanded communication and I just wanted to say that the feeling is mutual. (Wonder when Aurelia will start blogging?)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog

Ran across this painting by Caspar David Friedrich on wikipedia. He's part of the Romantic school of painters who were big in the 1800s. Beautiful, isn't it? Can't you just put yourself there looking over the fog? Can't you feel that faint breeze as the peaks wink in and out of view? Gorgeous.

Nicholas and Alexandra -1971

Czar Nicholas II was the last monarch of Russia. This is the story of his family and their last days. The story opens with the Alexandra giving birth to Alexi, their only son out of five children. Years later they find out that Alexi is a hemophiliac and must be protected at all costs. He's the only heir and they believe that if word gets out that he is fragile that it will bring great unrest.
A small accident occurs and Alexi's life is in danger. The doctors are unable to help out and the parents fear the worst. A monk shows and seems to be able to help. His name is Rasputin (played by Tom Baker!). Crisis after crisis and he's the only one that can help. This puts the family under his power even though he has an enormous appetite for sex and booze. The politicians of Russia hate and distrust him.
World War I begins. Nicholas believes that his relationship with the kaiser (his cousin) will keep the two countries from going to war. No dice. Russia is forced into battle but they can't overcome their industrial handicaps. Revolt occurs and Nicholas is forced to abdicate.
The last chapter of the movie deals with the communist attempts to keep the family under wraps. The Reds are afraid that they will become a rallying point for the traditionalist Whites. Execution follows, even Anastasia.
The movie is a solid, if unspectacular history film. The period is an interesting one. Tom Baker (who would go on to be Doctor Who) is exceptional. This was the role that gave him exposure. A good film but not great.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Rainy day

Nice big thunderstorm has rolled into town. Don't know when exactly, first heard the thunder around 6a. We're having a good steady rain and I love it!
The only problem is that I'd rather stay all cozy in bed than go to work. And, I have to save those sick days in case a certain infant decides to get all sick. There's no justice!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Baseball playoffs

Each year I take the first Tuesday in October off so I can watch some playoff baseball. I do this in case the White Sox are in since it's unlikely that their game would be televised at night. Unless they're playing the Yankees of course. Well, this year the switched things up and there was no baseball. (The only consolation was the outstanding tie-breaker game Monday night. Seriously, even the FP Gal enjoyed the conclusion.)
I'm tempted to try and break down who should win and why. What strengths and weaknesses will come in to play and all that. Ah, nevermind that. The nice things about these short series is that you get freak plays and short hot streaks. Last year's Cardinals were a hair better than average but they beat all comers and are the reigning champs after all. This year I'm just telling you who I'm rooting for (or against).
  • 1. The Rockies - They won me over with their late season run. They had to win 13 of their last 14 games just to get in. The celebration would be wild. And I like the people in Colorado.
  • 2. The Phillies - For a very simple reason, they've got two of the White Sox World Series heroes on their roster. Rowand and Iguchi, you'll always have a place in my heart. Also, Philadelphia hasn't won a championship since '83.
  • 3. The Diamondbacks - No particular reason. They're a young team and I like that. They go by the nickname 'Babybacks' and that's fun too.
  • 4. Red Sox - Ok, so their fans got a little annoying after 2004. That happens. I've cheered long enough for them as a lesser of two evils that I'm not ready to stop quite yet.
  • 5. Indians - Divisional rival and all that. A few years ago I hated them too much to ever root for them. Rivalries change and I'd be ok with them winning it all.
  • 6. Angels - Man, these guys were whiney during the 2005 playoffs. Ok, so the umps blew a call or two. If they had played better baseball it wouldn't have mattered. Wouldn't really bother me if they won but I'm not cheering for them.
  • 7. Yankees - Ugh. Just the thought of smug New Yorkers with another ring makes my stomach turn. Seriously, can't we go one year without these guys in the playoffs? Pretty please?
  • 8. Cubs - Yuck and double yuck. Can't stand them. Not even one little bit.
What if it's a Yankees/Cubs World Series? Who do I root for then? This is a tough one and I've wondered about it ever since we narrowly avoided that in 2003 (thank you Marlins!). Is it wrong to root for another earthquake? How about a tornado? Even a blizzard would work.
Let's just hope that a just and benevolent world will spare us.

Day Care

Meant to get a post up last night but Relia used her magic powers and made me fall asleep on the couch.

So yesterday we finally tackled the day care thing. The FP Gal has a job offer and she wants to take it. Since we don't trust Sana to take care of a baby (yet) we are looking at the day care route. We've done the math about wages and cost and where the break-even point is. My goofy schedule means that we're not really looking for a 40/week spot so that helps. A quick google maps search showed a good half dozen locations that would work for us. Phone calls revealed that the closest one had openings.
So yesterday afternoon we headed off to see it. The ladies who run it seem professional and knowledgeable. The place seems clean and the workers happy and responsible. They have good plans in place for sick children. The building was in good shape and the children there seemed to be having a good time.
In short, it'll probably do. Depends on the final wage offer on the new job. Oh, we're also visiting another one tomorrow. It's a little cheaper and might knock our socks off. Who knows?
The hardest thing (and I'm sure there are some parents nodding along here)? How do you trust complete strangers with such a precious baby? We're still working on that. I guess at some point you just have to realize that life is sometimes difficult and you have to make tough choices.
Hope we hit the Powerball tonight.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Aurelia and the search for the Loch Ness Monster

So we set up the baby monitor. The FP Gal found it at a garage sale for a song and it's worth every note. This one comes with a motion detector so we can tell if burglars have entered the yard (or something like that). A side benefit is that we can feel more confident that she's doing ok even if we're not around her.
The monitor makes a ticking noise at a regular interval. It reminds me of nothing more than the steady sonar 'ping' that you hear in any submarine movie. You half expect to see unshaven Germans huddling over a scope while chain-smoking. It's kind of...tense. At first at least. Then it becomes audio wallpaper.
No one ever tells you about the new toys you'll have.

Challenge

Got a challenge from my sister today:
First, if you have a blog, post something today. We all check these everyday and long for new stuff. Second, set a goal for the month and let us help you.
Well, here's at least one post (might be another tonight). I'm going to pass on the second one though. I've already set up a big challenge for next month and I don't have anything planned for this one. It's a great idea though and I certainly support it.

Overheard at our house

"So, I'm staring at a large wall of nipples..."

Sometimes, parenting is strange.