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30 May 2013

The Greatest Thing Ever (or for the next fifteen minutes...)

I highly suggest spending a few hours and just watching all of the videos from HISHE.  Once you start, it is impossible to stop.  You will curse my name for making you unproductive.








Cicadas Return!



So it should be a good time this summer...

29 May 2013

1,019 Words About Stuff

Lindsey and I were off last weekend and we did a few things that I wanted to mention, as well as some stuff from the past few days.  Unfortunately, I suck at taking pictures while we do things, so you will just have to use your imagination.

Saturday
We woke up fairly early and went to the Ligonier Farmer's Market.  We went there last year and bought some wine and fresh veggies.  I think we also bought some bread or something.  I cannot remember, it was a year ago.  Last year it was raining the entire time we were there.  This year it was really cold.  We really have no luck going there. 

There was not too much there this time and we only spent maybe an hour there.  Lindsey bought a bottle of wine and some bread, which she made into this french toast dish the next morning.  It was delicious.  I wish we would have been able to go there this coming weekend, since STAN GORDON will be there!  I have so many questions to ask him about the Bigfoot I saw flying a spaceship the other day...

So after we left there, we came home and discussed what to do for dinner.  I suggested that we go somewhere nice and get dressed up.  We decided to go to the Backdoor Cafe in Johnstown.  I wore the suit from Offord's wedding, but instead of the vest, I just wore the jacket with a polo underneath. 

The websites we read said you should make reservations because they are always very busy.  I did so and when we got there, we were the only people there.  Oh well.  I felt cool saying "reservation for Josh." 

The food was delicious.  I had the pork chop and Lindsey had the wild mushroom pizza.  I also started with a cup of the wild mushroom soup and we split a Rebecca's Crepe.  Everything was fantastic.  I even went a little crazy and ordered a fancy beer, although I have no clue what it was.  It was pretty good too.

We left there and went to Sweet Frog for dessert then went to Off-the-Rak for some beers.  We came home and started to watch television, but passed out holding each other.  You could say it was sweet, but if you saw it, most people would laugh and ask what the hell was going on.  I woke up with a very sore neck.

Sunday
As I mentioned earlier, we woke up and Lindsey made this really cool french toast baked thing.  I would explain it, but I suck at explaining.  Allow me to reuse this picture that I am 83% sure I used before.

That afternoon we met up with Lindsey's dad and his girlfriend and the four of us went to Shawnee State Park.  Lindsey thought it was like ten minutes from Windber.  It was a little further than that.


We walked around the park, which someone said it was over six miles, but it definitely seemed like it was only three miles.  Lindsey and I do walk, and I am usually spent after six miles, but I did this one pretty easily.  Yes, I am lame and that out of shape.  I am trying to get better.

The place was very pretty and I would not mind going there again.  It also made me want to take Lindsey to Kettle Creek, where I spent so much of my youth.  We will have to make that happen at some point.

We went back to her dad's house and he cooked us some steaks and corn-on-the-cob.  It was all very good.  We hung out there for awhile, just telling stories and having a good time.  We came home and I watched Mad Men and then we went to bed. 

It was a nice weekend...

Then I went back to work for a day.  That was actually not too bad.  After that, I had two days off.  Who does my schedule?  Oh that is right, some awesome guy named Josh. 

I took my car to get inspected yesterday.  Every time I take it, I worry that they will say "it will need blah blah blah" and it will cost me way more than I want to spend.  Instead, this time it only cost me $135 and that was with an oil change.  All I needed was a new headlight and two tires.

Yeah, I have no luck with tires.  Apparently, the other two are a good bit newer, but these two needed changed.  Luckily the place I went to had a couple of used tires they could put on that still had a good amount of life left in them and would not cost me much. 

I came home and started doing some laundry and my phone started ringing.  It was the place I went for my car.  I answered it and they asked if I found a set of car keys.  I went out to look and sure enough, on my passenger seat, behind my bag for work, was a set of keys. 

They were willing to come meet me somewhere, but I told them not to worry about it.  I only live like five minutes away from their garage.  I took the keys back and they were quite thankful.  As I was driving home though, I realized that I could have tried to get something free, like my next oil change.  Then I remembered that I was not a shitty human being and hate the people who expect something for doing the right thing.

Also while doing laundry, I decided to go through a bunch of my old posts and share them on facebook.  I think people were close to murdering me.  Oh well, I figure it was my way of getting even with all the people who constantly share every single photo they see that makes them laugh.  You know the people I am talking about, there will be fifteen posts in a row and all of them are just cat memes or something.

Okay, I think I am done for the day. 

Star Trek Into Darkness

I saw this last week and thought it was quite good.  I enjoy the way they are doing these films, instead of just rebooting them, making it an alternate timeline because of time-travel in the future.  In fact, I always enjoy time-travel.

I only had one small problem with the movie.  I think it should have ended a few minutes earlier than it did.  If you have not seen the movie, you will want to stop here because there will be some spoilers from here on out.

The perfect ending would have been Kirk's sacrifice and Spock yelling "KHHHAAANNNNN!!!!"  They could have ended the film with Khan escaping and Bones putting Kirk into a cryogenic sleep.  He could have then said something to Spock about how they would need Khan's blood or else Kirk would die. 

Instead, they go to San Francisco and have a nice foot chase and then Spock and Khan fight.  I know that Vulcans are supposed to be stronger than humans, but Khan was seen taking out a whole squad of Klingons and then squeezing a man's skull until it exploded.  Did Spock really stand a chance?

Do not get me wrong, I did not hate the ending.  I just felt that Khan could have been used even better if there was another movie of his villainy.  Unless they plan to bring Khan back again at some point.  Seriously, they need to, Benedict Cumberbatch was absolutely fantastic as Khan.  That voice was haunting at times.

I honestly thought at first that maybe Khan in this universe would be a "good" guy.  He would help the Enterprise and then Kirk would betray him and that would cause Khan to want revenge on Kirk (for another movie).

I definitely enjoyed these Star Trek movies more than I did the Star Wars prequels.  I have faith that Abrams will do a fine job with episode six...

28 May 2013

Mermaids and Truth

Last night I was told by my brother that I should check out the documentary Mermaids:  The New Evidence and the earlier one:  Mermaids:  The Body Found.  I came home and found them on Discovery Channel and decided to watch them both.
The first thing I noticed was the production value.  I do not know how to explain this, but you can always tell when something is a fake news report.  There is just something off about it.  Does anyone know what I am referring to?

Also, the evidence the show was showing looked very CGI.  So I immediately was skeptical and decided to do a little research.  Turns out the whole thing is a fake documentary made by Animal Planet.  At the end of both programs they have a tiny disclaimer that says something along the lines, "while most of the information is fictional, the beaching of whales due to Navy sonar testing is true."  I believe the intent of the program was to show how damaging that testing can be, but it really is lost when it seems that they trying to promote some fringe ideas and cryptozoology.



The show starts out by talking about "Bloops."  These are unexplained sounds that are recorded in the ocean and are much louder than the songs of blue whales.  Some cryptozoologists believe these sounds could be proof of an undiscovered species.  Well it turns out that scientists have been able to identify the sounds, they are different icebergs.  Here is an episode of Skeptoid dealing with the Bloop.  The transcript is even updated to say that they are icebergs.

The next piece of the show is the aquatic ape theory.  This theory basically says that the reason humans are so different from other land mammals is that at some early point in evolution, we must have had an aquatic lifestyle and then moved away from it.  This show takes that as the point when humans and mermaids split in evolution.  Again, Skeptoid does a nice job tearing this one apart, as does any reading of human evolution.

As I said at the beginning, I think this show was designed to bring awareness to the Navy's use of sonar and how it affects marine life, specifically whales.  I hate to keep going back to Skeptoid, but Brian Dunning had an episode about this as well.  He makes an interesting conclusion though, he says that there are only about five whale deaths a year from this and there many more from commercial fishing and maybe that is where people should focus their attention.

The main character of this whole documentary is Dr. Paul Robertson.  I looked him up online and discovered (this was not a surprise) that he is not a real doctor, or even a real person.  He was played by Andre Weideman.  He also has a notable role in the blockbuster film The Dinosaur Project.  And yes, everyone else in the program is an actor too.  Not so interesting now.

One of the videos they show as "proof" is that of a fish being hit with a spear and then you see something quickly swim by, which is supposed to be a mermaid.  If humans divulged at one point and became an aquatic species, would they necessarily have developed spears?  Also, would they be able to throw them with any kind of speed at that depth?  I believe the video was recorded by a deep diving vessel or something.



Spearfishing is still done today, but most of the people who do it actually use some kind of spear gun.  I would imagine that in ancient times, they would have used long poles and jabbed at the fish.  I have seen a video of a gauntlet of South American indigenous peoples spearing schools of fish.  The way they do it is pretty interesting.  They line up on both sides of the river and just jab at them.  As the fish run the gauntlet, they get hit enough that by the time they reach the end, they are weak and slow and easy to spear.  I would imagine that mermaids would do something similar to this.



Also, there was a part where they talk about the people in Brazil who work with dolphins to catch fish and they believe that the dolphins are recalling a time when they worked with mermaids.  What would they have used to make nets?  Maybe kelp?  Would you need to dry the kelp first though to weave it?  I have no clue about rope making.

Anyways, that is enough speculation about a made up species.  Allow me to explain why this kind of program angers me.  People will watch this show and think it is real.  The actual truth and science behind the world are more interesting than made up answers.  I would rather people take the time to learn some human evolution instead of some crack-pot theory.  These kind of things just help creationists make the argument "see, evolutionists cannot agree on their own theory!" 

I would love to find out about a new intelligent species living on our planet, that would be a mind-blowing discovery, but unfortunately there is just no real evidence for such a thing. 

Crossroads of Twilight

Back when I wrote about Winter's Heart, Greg commented that WH was the last good book from Jordan and the series sucks until Sanderson takes over.  I wondered if we would actually differ in this since we enjoy different things about fantasy novels.

I have been reading Crossroads of Twilight since I finished Red Country back in November.  Yep, it took me six months to read.  I hate to say it, but the book was absolutely terrible.  I could barely get into it.  I am taking a break from the Wheel of Time for awhile.  I need to read some other stuff before  I try to struggle through the next book.

Oh, should I mention any of the stuff that happened?  There was way too many characters.  I could not remember who anyone was at pretty much any point.  And I do not think any of the stories actually progressed.  Perrin's wife is still gone, the Aes Sedai are still split, Elayne is still not the Queen of Andor.  The only interesting story was Mat, who is courting the Daughter of the Nine Moons and it seems like she may be interested.

Also, it seems like everyone is making deals with the Seanchan.  Rand has secured a treaty with them.  It's a TRAP!  Perrin might work with them to save Faile, and Mat is going to save the day with them by marrying the heir.

Hopefully the next book is a little better...

27 May 2013

Fantasy Baseball Week Eight

My team decided to put the smack down on Sean.  Did any other team even come close to having 84 strikeouts?  I am now in second place with a 57-32-7 record and only a half game back of Ryan.  I will catch him.

Everyone was pretty damn good, so I will just post the pictures of the results of both the hitters and pitchers.

Pretty insane week for Jose Bautista.  Patrick Corbin and Anibal Sanchez also were dominant pitchers.  Unfortunately Jim Henderson and Chris Perez are on the disabled list and that will make it difficult for winning saves for a few weeks. 

This week I take on Dustin, who beat me pretty badly back in week one, so it is time for some revenge.

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day!  I will be working.  Enjoy these funny Star Wars Memorial Day pictures...



26 May 2013

Avril Lavigne and Radiohead



I am sure you have heard this song.  I heard it the other day and was confused by the lyrics, was she really saying that she used to blast Radiohead songs or something?  Here are the lyrics:

"Singing Radiohead at the top of our lungs
With the boom box blaring as we're falling in love
I got a bottle of whatever, but it’s getting us drunk
Singing here's to never growing up"

I wonder how Thom Yorke feels that Avril Lavigne is using his band in a crappy pop song.  Something tells me he absolutely loves it.  Look at this guy, he seems like the happiest guy ever.  I bet he is a huge Lavigne fan.

And out of curiosity, what song would Avril be jamming to with her friends?  What Radiohead song would anyone party to and sing along to? 



Or maybe Creep...I know how much Radiohead fans love the song Creep.


22 May 2013

Watchmen Opening

Watchmen opening from Sara Goes on Vimeo.

I do not care what you say about the movie, you cannot deny that the opening is pretty awesome.  The use of the Bob Dylan song is perfect and gives me chills when I watch it.  And yes, this is my second Bob Dylan related post in a month.  Weird.

Yeshua

My brother posted this on my facebook wall and I figured I should share it with everyone.  I actually knew this already and believe that it means savior.  Yep, that pretty much describes me.  I am everyone's savior.

21 May 2013

Boardwalk Empire Season Four Preview



I am getting excited for the upcoming season of this show.  After that amazing finale last season, where will they go???

The Wise Man's Fear

I recently finished the audiobook of The Wise Man's Fear, the second book in The Kingkiller Chronicle.  I actually liked this one much more than the first book.  We got to see Kvothe's transformation into a powerful individual instead of spending way too much as a victim.

The book starts off at the university, but after some battles with Ambrose and then a trial with the Iron Law, Kvothe takes a semester off and backpacks his way across Europe.  Okay, not really, he actually heads to another city to help the Maer Alveron court a woman.  Turns out that Alveron is one of the richest men in the world.  Kvothe discovers that he is being poisoned and saves the Maer's life. 

Kvothe then helps the Maer marry and rids the countryside of some bandits who were stealing taxes.  At this point, he goes to another country and learns how to fight like the Adem.  He also has an adventure in the land of the faerie creatures. 

By the end of the book, Kvothe is a badass.  Now it is just a matter of finding out what happened to him that caused him to run away and open an inn.  How did he meet Bast?  Also, if anyone has read it, what did the Cthaeh tell Kvothe?  I was missing an entire chapter of the book and it turns out that it was a fairly important one.  I have the point where Felurian is making his shade and the next part is Kvothe returning to our world.  What the hell did I miss?

Also, the only thing that irritates me in this book is the whole Denna love story.  Sometimes I just want to smack Kvothe for being so stupid with her. 

Game of Thrones: Second Sons

Last night's episode featured a wedding, but it was not the one we were waiting for.  Instead it was between Sansa and Tyrion.  The dwarf decided to get super drunk and threaten to cut off Joffrey's cock.  He also did not have sex with Sansa.

Arya learned that the Hound is not a complete dick.  He is not taking her back to King's Landing, instead he plans to deliver her back to her family at Edmure's wedding.  He also informed her that he saved Sansa's life and virginity once. 

Samwell decided to not completely suck and after getting his sword knocked away by a White Walker, he uses the dragon-glass dagger he found to stab the creature, which causes it to die.  Something tells me that will be important information later.  Unfortunately, he drops the dagger and ran away.  Also, how useless is he, Gilly had to start the fire to keep them from freezing.

Gendry almost got laid by Melisandre, but instead she got him all horny, then tied him to the bed and decided to stick some leeches on his body, including his penis.  She tosses the leeches into a fire once they have some of Gendry's blood in order to show Stannis and Davos how powerful a king's blood can be.

Daenerys meets with the captains of the Second Sons, a mercenary force that protects Yunkai.  There are only 2000 of them, but they would do damage to the Unsullied in a battle.  Fortunately, one of the captains, Daario Naharis fights for beauty and he murders the other two captains and brings the Second Sons to Daenerys. 

I noticed that people were complaining about the casting choice of Daario.  He is supposed to be attractive, but his hair is blue (I do not know if blue hair is natural in that world) and he has a beard that is forked into three pieces or something. 

I have no problem with the fact that they decided not to give the guy blue hair or a braided beard.  I have a feeling they had to do this because it would be hard for the audience to believe that a man with a crazy beard and colored hair would be found sexy by Daenerys.  It should be fun to see how Jorah and this guy get along!  Also, so glad they gave him his signature sword handles...

Also, it would be silly not to mention my favorite part of the episode:  Mero!  Yes, he only had a few lines and he basically just talked a bunch of shit to Daenerys about how they would rape her after they defeated her army and then make her a slave.  He also asked her to get naked a few times.  He was just a fantastic bit of entertainment.  And then he did this:

20 May 2013

Fantasy Baseball Week Seven

I guess I got a little cocky last week.  Now I am in third place after tying Don 6-6.  Ryan is back in first place.  I will give credit to Don's team, who had a fantastic week at the plate.  Seriously, 15 HRs and 8 SBs???  Did any other team have that?  I think not.  I thought for sure I would win stolen bases, but oh no.  I did not stand a chance.

Elvis Andrus was my best hitter, 8/0/4/5/.345/.406.  Take that in for a second, my best player's average was lower than Don's entire team.  How does that even happen?  After Andrus, Brandon Phillips was pretty good, but after that it was a pretty crappy week for my entire team.

Bobby Parnell, Jim Henderson, and Drew Smyly were all pretty great as relievers.  Only Patrick Corbin was a good starter.  It sucks when every starter decides to have a bad week.  Fortunately, Don's team is not so good at pitching. 

This week I take on Sean and we have had some major battles in the past.  I really need to beat him and not fall too far behind Ryan.

18 May 2013

America Unearthed

Does anyone watch America Unearthed on History Channel?  The host is Scott Wolter and he believes that the Templars fled to America and buried their treasure all over the place.  Every episode is the same:  he goes to some place, finds a few "symbols" and claims they are tied to the Templars.  Also, he likes to say "oh shit" or "holy shit" often. 

It is not a very good show, but it has surpassed Ancient Aliens since that show has now just begun to regurgitate their old stuff and pretend like it is something new. I think the last episode of AA had them all discussing how brilliant Erich von Däniken is.  Yep that is pretty much the point where you show has flew off the proverbial rails.  And yes, I realize I am saying this about a show that believes everything is due to aliens.

If you do watch the show, please research any of the things Wolter claims to discover.  Most of the things have been proven to be hoaxes.  Others are just wild speculation.  He is another person who has a theory and decides to take any evidence he finds and mold it so that it fits his theory.  Not proper science.  If you want to be entertained, read this post and then read the comments.

The iPotty

I saw this on Bill Maher last night and thought it was a little bit funny, but also slightly scary.  The idea is that kids can stay entertained while potty training.  If you are a parent reading this and you are considering buying this, you should probably punch yourself in the face.

 I am sorry if that is slightly harsh, but kids do not need to be conditioned to poop on a toilet while playing on their iPad.  That kind of thing is for adults only!  Kids will be in the bathroom for hours playing stupid games. 

Children have learned how to poop in a toilet for years without fancy technological devices.  I am sure your child will survive for five minutes without some gadget.  I find it fascinating that people complain about the way children are becoming more dependent on television, computers, etc and then BOOM:  people rush out to buy stuff like this!

I think this Calvin & Hobbes strip sums it up:

Pedro Alvarez Home Run



As an update to my last post, this is a ball that is absolutely destroyed.  As soon as he hit it, you could tell that it was heading into orbit somewhere.  Although he is still having a pretty piss poor season.

17 May 2013

Travis Snider Home Run



Travis Snider hit a monster home run last night against the Brewers.  People were upset last year when the Pirates traded Brad Lincoln for him, but I was optimistic that a change of scenery for Snider would help him out. 

This year he has been pretty good, hitting .292/.364/.406, but he did not have a home run until last night, when he destroyed a baseball that went 458 feet and then rolls into the river.  The Pirates seem like they are using him in a platoon position and I do not know if that is necessarily right.  He has a very small sample size against LHP, but he is not terrible against them.

I have to ask the question, why do players develop a platoon split against right-hand or left-hand pitchers?  I imagine it has something to do with the ability of the hitter to see the ball and whatnot.  Younger hitters have not had the number of at-bats against LHP and have not made the necessary adjustments needed, so at what point should a team give up and go to a platoon?  Garrett Jones is someone that is good for a platoon, but are we ready to say that Snider is too?

Snider has 196 career ABs versus LHP and he is hitting .235/.280/.378.  That is definitely not good, but could that become better?  If you look at a Prince Fielder's first full year, he had a similar line against lefties and then over time it got better.  His career line is below his RHP line, but not so much that he is a platoon candidate.  And no, I am not saying that Snider is like Fielder, but I am saying that maybe he just needs to get a chance against lefties.  Or maybe I am rambling.  Whatever.  Leave me alone.

16 May 2013

Forever Young



This classic Bob Dylan song, and one of my all-time favorites, was made into a children's book and this is a video of some of it.  At least that is what I got from this article...

15 May 2013

Fitch The Homeless



If I owned any clothes from there, I would do this.  Also, if there were any homeless folks in New Germany.  I have never heard anything good about A&F as a company.

Game of Thrones: The Bear and The Maiden Fair

I was looking forward to his episode for awhile.  I really wanted to see the battle between Brienne and a bear, and then the moment where Jaime jumps into the pit...in the book it had my heart pumping and when they escaped, I was probably shouting "hell yeah!"  The show did an okay job with it, but I wanted more actual fighting with a bear (probably difficult when you use an actual, live bear). 

Oh well, the episode was a bit boring though as it set up a bunch of stuff for a finale.  There was one truly remarkable scene though:  Tywin versus Joffrey.  It has been the moment we have been waiting for, when would Tywin let the king know just who is in charge.

At first Joffrey tries to be in control, demanding that he be told of Small Council Meetings, in case he would want to attend them.  And then he wants to know why they are now held in the Tower of the Hand?  Tywin coolly responds that they are held there because it would take too much time from his busy day to walk over to the castle and hold the meetings there.  He is far too important to waste any seconds of his day.

Joffrey then realizes that he cannot scare or control his grandfather and his tone changes to meek.  Everything about the scene was great from the acting to the camera work.  As mentioned over at the Warming Glow, you could mute the scene and know exactly who was in control.




There was also a cringe-inducing moment where Theon is castrated.  It starts out by two girls coming to seduce him and then ends with Ramsay interrupting and saying how he is going to cut off his manhood. 

Other stuff happened, but most of it was just some talking between characters.  Jamie makes a comment about sending Robb his regards at the wedding.  Oh, and Ygritte thought a windmill was a palace.  The Hound kidnaps Arya, and Daenerys demands that the city she is outside of now free all of their slaves.  She really hates slavery.


14 May 2013

Super Warriors of Fantasy

As I listen to the second book of The Kingkiller Chronicle and read the Wheel of Time at the same time, I realized something.  There are plenty of unstoppable warrior cultures in fantasy novels.  I would imagine these societies draw inspiration from the ancient Spartans and a variety of others in the past.  I am sure that many fantasy fans could think of more examples than I could, but I want to focus on two:  the Aiel and the Adem. 

Aiel
Back before the Breaking of the World, the Aiel actually served the Aes Sedai.  They would not raise their hands to defend themselves or harm another person.  They were given secret treasures to guard for the Aes Sedai and as they traveled looking for a land to settle in, they broke into two groups.  The one that ended up becoming the Tinkers actually kept their peaceful ways.  The Aiel decided to defend themselves and eventually settled in a harsh desert land.

The Aiel are known as fierce warriors.  They do not use swords, instead using a spear.  They are usually pretty big.  Women and men are both incredible fighters.  An army of them could not be stopped during the Aiel War.

Adem
The Adem also live in a harsh, very windy land.  They moved to a land that pretty much no one else wanted and decided to train themselves to be great warriors.  It is part of their moral philosophy.  They are divided into schools and teach variations of their philosophy.

In order to pay for the school, graduates leave Ademre and go into the uncivilized world and become mercenaries.  They say they are the equal of four or five normal soldiers.  They use a sword and a hand-to-hand fighting style. 

The question is though, who would win in a battle between the two groups?  I imagine that an army full of Adem would be pretty formidable, but since they do not seem to fight in wars this way, they might not be as skilled as the Aiel, who know how to fight together as a large unit.

In a one-on-one fight though, I think the Adem might be superior.  Their sword play would make short work of the Aiel spear.  Both fighters would be quick and strong, but it seems that the Adem rely more on balance and footwork and in my opinion that would lead to a quick victory.

Interesting, both societies make no distinction in men and women as warriors.  The Aiel have the Maidens of the Spear, and the Adem consider women to be better fighters since they are not full of anger.

Actually this question of who would win is probably moot, since the Unsullied would show up and kill them both...

13 May 2013

Fantasy Baseball Week Six

That is a pretty good week.  I gave Pat a pretty good smack down.  I actually feel bad though, he is desperately trying to wait for certain players to turn it on, but also find guys who can help him in the present.  Luckily my team hit three home runs on Sunday to help me tie that category and complete the shut-out.

My best hitter was probably Jose Bautista, whose line was 4/2/7/0/.360/.438.  The rest of the team hit quite well.  My big pick up this week was Garrett Jones and I made sure to only start him against right-handed pitchers, his line was 2/1/4/0/.429/.375.

Wainwright was my best starter, Matt Cain finally decided to show up for once, and all the rest were pretty damn good.  There was some shocks from my relievers.  Parnell picked up two wins, Chris Perez and Joe Nathan racked up three saves each, and Kenley Jansen had eight strikeouts and one hold. 

I am now in first place overall with a 42-23-7 record.  Ryan is in second place, and leading his division with a record of 42-24-6.  Yep, it is a pretty close battle.  Oh and there are other folks too, but they are so far down in the standings that it is hard to spot them.  This week I take on Game Changers, who is in 8th place and should not provide much of a challenge.  Yes, I am getting cocky.

11 May 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Here is to the greatest mother in the world, I hope you have a great Mother's Day and hopefully win tons of money so that we can all retire and live on a private island somewhere in the Pacific.  I love you mom!


Altoona is Awesome!

And people wonder why I do not live in Altoona.  Not only are the drug dealers everywhere, but also spontaneous flooding!  Sounds like a great place.

10 May 2013

I Made Some Changes

You may have noticed that I changed the color scheme and template.  I decided to go with a lighter theme this time.  Something bright.  Hope you all like it.  If not, well please send your complaints to the comments. 

I also added some Google+ stuff to the right.  I may even start using my Google+ account for more than, umm, whatever the hell I use it for now.  If you want, go ahead and add me.  We can be friends there and you can just crack up at all the wonderful things I add there.

Speaking of Google+, I decided to update my profile picture.  What do you think?  Should I someday take down the half-naked picture of me?  So many questions.  You should definitely comment with answers.  Thanks.

And hey, since you were so good with the whole reading this and giving me input, I will reward you with this funny video.  Enjoy!


My Good Deed

Sometimes I do nice things for people.  And when I do, I want to get some credit for it.  So allow me to brag about how nice I am. 

I was at the place I normally go to get a haircut and the place was very busy.  I am guessing everyone wanted to get haircuts for Mother's Day or something.  Tons of children.  I had been waiting for about a half hour and I knew that I was next in line.  This young girl comes in and she seems pretty frantic. 

She asks the lady how long it would be for her to get her eyebrows waxed.  Apparently, she forgot to schedule an appointment for this and her prom is tomorrow.  She has an appointment for her hair tomorrow, but I guess you do not want your eyebrows waxed the day of the prom (I have no idea why, ladies please explain).  The lady tells her that it will be between 45 minutes to an hour.  The girl gets very upset.  She says that she has a bunch of stuff to do after this, and she does not have time.  She asks if there is any way for the lady to just do it real fast now.

The lady explains that she cannot allow the girl to skip everyone and that she is very sorry, but there is really nothing she can do to help her.  She can come back later when it should be slower.  The girl is almost on the verge of tears, so I decided to step in.

Me:  She can go in my spot.  I am not in a hurry.
Lady:  She cannot just skip you, she would be skipping everyone.
Me:  Fine, just give her my spot, and I will take her spot at the bottom.  In fact, I will just leave and come back later when it is slow.
Lady:  I do not think that is allowed, since she would still be skipping all these other people.
Me:  (to all the other people waiting)  Does anyone care if I give this poor girl my spot?  No, okay thanks.  (to Lady)  I will just go run some errands then come back, problem solved.
Girl:  Thank you so much! 
Other People in Line:  Wow, that is so nice of you! 

You should all be more like me.

Mad Men Stuff

I realize that I have been pretty silent about this season of Mad Men.  This season has been good, but not great or anything.  So what has been happening?

-Don is falling deeper into his self-destructive behavior.  He is now having an affair with his neighbor's wife.  At the same time, he feels somewhat bad and has become friends with the guy, although I am starting to think that the doctor has his suspicions.

-Megan's acting career is starting to take off.  She is signing autographs for people and this is something Don does not like.  He hated seeing her have a sex scene with an actor and he called her a whore for it.  I also think he hates the idea of her not really needing him.

-On the advertising end, SCDP has been doing quite well, even if Don has to deal with the fat guy who slept with Joan.  They at least have a car company and they seem to be doing well financially.  Enough so that they were about to go public and all become very rich.

-Pete has been caught being a cheating bastard.  Trudie has basically kicked him out and told him to just keep up the appearance of a marriage.  It almost seemed like they might reconcile, but then Pete gets caught at a whorehouse by Trudie's father.  Pete figured that the man would do nothing, since he was seen leaving the room of "a large negro woman" as Pete put it.  Unfortunately, Pete was wrong, and his father-in-law took Vick's to another firm.

-At the same time as that, Don basically told the fat Jaguar guy to go to hell and that they did not need Jaguar.  This pretty much screws the firm on the going public deal.  Everyone was pissed at Don.

-Roger has had an interesting season.  His mother died and he is still sleeping with just about anyone he can find.  He decided to get on a plane with a guy from Chevy.  He makes friends with the guy and SCDP is invited to pitch an idea for a new Chevy car.  Don feels like this is a victory.

-Don and Ted pitch each other their Chevy ideas and realize that they are both good and both will lose because their firms are too small.  The episode ends with both of them telling Peggy that they are merging and that they won the Chevy account.

I am curious to see how this turns out.   Did the rest of the partners accept this?  How will creative be structured?  Will Ted be Don's boss or vice-versa?  Or will they allow Peggy to be more of the creative force of the new firm?  She has been given permission to name the new place.

-Speaking of Peggy...she has been highly successful.  She wanted to buy a place in the upper West Side, but Abe does not like that.  He wants to raise their children in the slums, be part of a real community.  This makes Peggy happy, but then she kisses Ted and now fantasizes about him.  Irritating since Peggy has risen up without having to sleep with her boss.

-Oh, and Pete fell down the stairs.  I feel like this might have been accidental and they just kept it in because it looked so good.

-Also does anyone have a theory about the guy, I think his name is Bob?  He keeps trying to insert himself into the story and everyone basically tells him to go back to work.

09 May 2013

Top 100 Science Fiction Books

Over at Greg's blog, he did a pretty cool thing:  he makes comments on the top 100 science fiction books and at the end he mentions how he has read 39 of them.  That is a bit more than myself.  Although, I am a bit annoyed that this list lumps books by series at times.  I will mention what I mean when it comes up.

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Read it and would probably agree that it should be number one.

2. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
I read this when I was young and enjoyed it, but definitely need to read it again because I do not remember most of it, nor did I fully grasp all of it.

3. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
Should I read this series?  I keep thinking this would be a good one to listen to while I drive.

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
Is Sting in the book?

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
How can this series be ranked at number five when so many people hate the fourth book?  Also, if a series has not concluded, can you really rank it this high?  What if the series concludes with:  And then Samwell Tarly took the Iron Throne and ruled Westeros after eating the dragons.

6. 1984, by George Orwell
I read this book in high school.  Loved it.  Actually read it in one night when we were only supposed to read one chapter.  Ended up reading it again a few days later.  I reread it a few years ago for fun.

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
I read this one in school as well.

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
Never read it.

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Do not think I read this. 

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
Loved it.

11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
Never read this...INCONCEIVABLE!

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
I could see the argument as to why this series needs to be up here.  I am not finished with it yet.  Some of the books are terribly boring.  I am slogging my way through book ten right now, I feel like it will never end...

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
My brother had to read this in school, and it was sitting on the table and I picked it up and read it one night.  I was a weird child that way.

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
Never read it.

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
One of the greatest comics of all time.  And yes, I have obviously read this one.

16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
Nope, never read it.  Saw the movie though.

17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
Nope.  This one sounds interesting though.

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
I currently listening to this one.  I am confused as to why this one is so high up on the list.  It is good, but not so great to be ahead of some of the others.

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
I read this one and thought it was pretty awesome. 

20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
I saw Young Frankenstein, does that count?

21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
Nope.

22. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
Nope.

23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
I would rank this one much higher, it has everything.

24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
Nope.

25. The Stand, by Stephen King
I think this was the first Stephen King book I ever read.  I could not put it down once I started it.

Okay, this is starting to get a bit long.  If I do not comment on it, that means I have not read it.
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
This is probably my favorite comic series of all time.  Although Transmetropolitan is up there too.  Such a tough decision.

30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
I read all of these in school.  I liked all of them. 

40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan
This was the book that got me hooked into space and also helped truly shape my atheism.  After this book, I read a bunch of Sagan's nonfiction stuff and was just amazed by them.

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
Read it and loved it.

53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
I loved this book.  So upsetting that the movie is going to be terrible.

55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
I have read the majority of these.  Love them all, they are simple and fun.

68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
Interesting, I liked this book, much more than the first Kingkiller Chronicle.

72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
Another book I read when I was very young.

73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man's War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
I loved this series.
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
This was the first Star Wars series if I remember correctly.  Until then there was only the movie novelizations and Splinter in the Mind's Eye (or whatever it was called).  Then Zahn wrote this series and gave us a new villain in Grand Admiral Thrawn.

89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

So I am at 26 read so far and now have a few more to add to my reading list.  I am shocked that none of Joe Abercrombie's books made this list as well as the Night's Dawn Trilogy.  I guess everyone complains about something on a list like this.  Oh well.

Where I Am From...

This is the police report from the local newspaper where I am from.  Oh Philipsburg, never change!

08 May 2013

The Movie Experience

When Lindsey and I walked into the theater the other night to see Iron Man 3, I had a cup of coffee.  The manager was standing there where we paid.  I was waiting for him to mention that you could not take outside beverages into the theater, but he, nor the kid taking tickets ever said anything.  I actually had to ask where a trash can was to throw it away. 

I am 97.3% sure that I could have taken it inside with me and no one would have cared.  When did this become commonplace.  I see it all the time.  People will walk into a restaurant with their own bottle of water or juice.  I have seen folks stroll into my place with a cup of Starbucks coffee and order breakfast.  I tell them that they are not allowed to have outside beverages, and they look at me like I am the most evil person ever.  When did this happen?

Fifteen minutes into the movie, I heard the guys behind me whispering something and I thought I heard one of them say "mumble mumble sleeping?"  I looked over at Lindsey, who was asleep with her head cocked to one side and her mouth wide open.  I started laughing and gave her a little nudge to wake her up.  She nodded off a few more times over the next couple of minutes, but then she woke up and was able to stay up for the entire movie.

I am tired of the post-credits scene in Marvel movies.  Especially if Marvel is going to extend the credits to be funny.  Also, if the scene is going to be something unimportant and just a little joke, then I will not waste my time.  Sorry, but waiting ten minutes to see Mark Ruffalo was not worth it.

07 May 2013

Iron Man 3

I know that most of you have been champing at the bit waiting for my thoughts on Iron Man 3 and you now have your wish.  I liked it.  The end. Okay, you probably wanted a little more than that.  There will probably be some spoilers.  Okay, there will probably be a bunch of spoilers.

The movie starts out with Tony having troubles sleeping and basically focusing all of his time building new suits.  Turns out that the events from The Avengers have left him with some anxiety attacks.  Pepper is sick of his constant tinkering in the basement.

Aldrich Killian and a girl that Tony slept with, Maya Hansen, have been developing Extremis, which allows injured people to regenerate whatever is wrong.  Missing a limb, a new one grows back.  Unfortunately it has a slight side effect:  people tend to explode and can generate heat as a weapon.

During this time, a terrorist named the Mandarin is attacking the United States and Tony decides to challenge him after Happy is injured in one of the explosions.  The Mandarin responds by destroying Tony's house and almost killing Pepper and Maya (who was at the house to explain that Aldrich is helping the Mandarin).

The world believes Tony is dead and he goes on a bit of road trip to discover what he can about the Mandarin.  He gets help from a kid named Harley, who was a pretty funny sidekick.  Tony eventually discovers where the Mandarin is broadcasting from, Miami, and pays him a visit.  The Mandarin is actually a British actor, who thinks that this is all a big show.  He is provided with drugs, booze, money, and girls and told that all the terror attacks are green screen.  Aldrich Killian is actually behind it all.

There is a big battle with Tony and James fighting a bunch of Extremis soldiers.  Tony calls in all of his suits and keeps changing into them.  Aldrich injected Pepper with the Extremis serum and she is the one who ends up killing Killian.  The movie ends with Tony helping remove the Extremis from Pepper and he destroys all of his suits, plus he has the battery and shrapnel removed from his body, implying he was done.  Then as he gets into his car, he says that the truth is he is Iron Man.  So I guess we will see him in the next Avengers movie.

Random Stuff
-The Extremis storyline comes from one of my favorite writers:  Warren Ellis.  I was shocked when I heard this was the route they were going to take since I always thought people disliked Ellis' idea.  I guess enough people did like it.

-The Mandarin idea was pretty cool.  The idea of the Mandarin is so ridiculous, a scientist who uses alien technology to create ten rings that give him super powers.  Then tries to conquer the world.  Although, did they get the idea of the villain being a ruse from Batman Begins?

-After the credits, we learn that Tony has been telling this entire story to a sleeping Dr. Bruce Banner (the Hulk), who wakes up and says that he is not a therapist.  It was amusing, but definitely not worth sitting through ten minutes of credits (I have heard that Marvel put a bunch of fake names into the credits to make them longer).

-It was cool to see some of his different suits.  There are some major internet debates being waged right now over whether or not the one that held up the crane was the Hulkbuster.  I believe it was, since the way the filmed the suit crouching while lifting it was almost exactly the way it looks when the Hulk lifts something heavy.

-I thought that Shane Black put in some Lethal Weapon references.  Maybe not references, maybe just nods.  I feel like the whole Christmas tree farm felt very much like the time we meet Mel Gibson in the first Lethal Weapon film.  Was there anything from Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang?

-I loved Rebecca Hall in The Town and wish they would have done more with her in the film.  I feel like they must have edited out an important scene of her that may show up in the deleted scenes.

-The humor was still in this movie, more than I thought it would be, since this one seemed like it might be a bit darker.  The way Tony kept mocking Harley was pretty funny, the kid also seemed to be able to give it right back.

-Out of curiosity, where was the Hulk while all this was happening?  Or Captain America?  I mean, the President is kidnapped and Captain America cannot be bothered for a rescue?  Seems a little weird.  

Those were my thoughts on the film.  What did you think?

Comic Book Movie Grade:  B+

I highly recommend reading Filmdrunks review of the film.

06 May 2013

Fantasy Baseball Week Five

Suck it Ryan!  Build your dynasty somewhere else.  And do not make excuses, Roy Halladay would not have saved you from my dominance (this absolutely means that I will get destroyed next week).  I wish that I could have picked up a hold, just so I could have made it 10-2.

I cannot even decide who was my best player, so instead, I will just post a picture of my entire hitters.  I decided to give up on Morales and Hosmer and picked up Nate McLouth and Garrett Jones.  I moved Trumbo to first base and decided to use Jones on the bench, probably be good for away games and against right-handed pitchers.
Trumbo hit five home runs this week, so that was pretty damn amazing.  Jose Bautista did not hit a home run, but he did hit for a .313 average and picked up a stolen base.  Sandoval and Posey decided to have a good week together.  Thanks guys!  Seriously, I am taking all of my guys out for drinks.  Even McLouth with his .167 average and yet three runs, one home run, and a stolen base.  He at least makes his hits count. 

My pitching was not nearly as good as it had been in the past, but it was still pretty good.  Matt Cain and Yovani Gallardo decided to show up this week.  Lance Lynn continued to be dominant and my relievers had a bit of a let down week, but I will not punish them too much.  Minus Kelvin Herrera, I dropped his ass and picked up Drew Smyly. 

I am now in second place with a 33-23-4 record and I take on Pat, who is in last place.  I should beat him pretty handily, but anytime I think that is when things go terribly wrong.  Hey Ryan, how does fourth place feel?