The ongoing prattlings of a lifelong geek and his random luck with love, work, children and rediscovering himself.


MOVIE: Various

King Kong (2005):   I really wasn't overwhelmed with "wow" on this film.   Yes, Kong was CGI and interacted with the human actors nicely (in most cases).   Yes, there was a LOT of action in the middle and end of the movie.   And yes, it had a very sad ending.   But really, there were periods of the movie where I kept thinking.. "did anyone onscreen SAY anything in the last 20 minutes?"   Even now, thinking about the end of the movie, I can't recall any dialogue other a coulpe of random blurbs.   Even Kong himself was using sign language (no joke)! This was not an exceptional movie.   I don't even think I'll bother taking the kids to see it.

Memoirs Of A Geisha:   Desite arguing with my daughters about how to say "gay-shah" (with a proper alternative of "gee-shah" -- saying "guy-shuh" is just wrong), I really liked this movie!   It "felt long" by the time it was finally ending (which is odd for me to say, since I like movies that make me feel like I got my money's worth) but overall, it was a nice film.   I would have no problem taking my kids to see this (and will, most likely) even with the vague references to sexual situations (the snake and the cave was rather amusing).

The Producers:   I enjoyed this movie (laughed a LOT) but it was not as "awesome" as I had hoped -- this is more due to my own self-perception based on the commercials, because Matthew Broderick's character was just.. uh, disturbing.   You can't really get too much of Uma Thurman.   The storyline was funny (I've never seen this on stage) and Will Ferrell was great as the lead "Nazi".

If I were to put these in must-see order, it would be Geisha, Producers, then Kong (during a matinee).


Christmas 2005

The day is pretty much done, and the most noteworthy booty so far includes:

Daniella (16) - 5 megapixel Digital Camera (rechargable batteries, 1GB memory card), comforter, leather pillow, fuzzy pillow, notebook, stationary, earrings, ears pierced, $100 gift card, $25 gift cards x 2, Pocahontas DVD and drawing, bath supplies, books, pencils and pens, pocket planner and more...

Amanda (15) - 5 megapixel Digital Camera (rechargable batteries, 1GB memory card), comforter, leather pillow, fuzzy pillow, notebook, earrings, ears pierced, $100 gift card, $25 gift cards x 2, bath supplies, books, pencils and pens, pocket planner, necklace, notecards, Cry Wolf DVD and more...

Anthony (14) - Remote control Humvee with trailer and ATV, sports balls, books, pencils, four-board game set, Lord Of The Rings Trivia DVD game, $25 gift cards x 2, $100 gift card, magnetic phrases, pillows, giant blanket, logic puzzles, beanie and more...

Christopher (12) - Remove control truck with trailer and ATV, $25 gift cards x 2, $100 gift card, crayon figure maker, multiple Lord Of The Rings characters, beanie, pillows, 10 boards games in one, comforter, pencils and pens, calendar and more...

Tony (37) - Gazelle aerobic training exercise machine, dress shirt with two ties, calendars, $25 gift certificates x 2, gothic candelebra, 13 Going On 30 DVD (Jennifer Garner.. yum), two quotation t-shirts, manicure kit, Christmas bonus from work, and more...

Nana (57) - A guitar with amplifier, assorted gourmet mustards, candles, soap, lotion, Christmas bonus from work, and more...

Papa (59) - Assorted clothing, popcorn machine, deep-fryer, dress socks and more...

And, of course... I had the kids FINALLY unwrap the XBox360. Cool beans.


Christmas Lunch For Terry

Apparently my company decided Tony was not a good enough name for me..?   (I'm sure this was some bizarre error - it was just funny to receive this after working at my company for eight years)


Christmas Cookies 2005

Six hours later, we're done.
  • 138 Butterscotch Morsel

  • 96 White Chocolate Morsel

  • 99 M&M Candied

  • 131 Chocolate Chip

I must have been crazy.   But, eighty bags and labels later, they're done, ready for co-workers and school teachers and friends.


I Want To Fuel MY CAR With Banana Peels

There has been a lot of talk in the past couple of years about alternate electrical and fuel sources.   I've even had indepth discussions about it with friends and my father.   This article is just another of many that shows promise in such a market.

The day we have easy to access near-unlimited "power" is going to be a "great and terrible day" (since it will also mean certain "groups" will find it that much easier to do stupid things... like hurt people, spy on you or do other stupid things -- but such is a part of "technological progress", unfortunately).


Suicide On MySpace?

So tonight, I catch word that someone SUPPOSEDLY committed suicide on MySpace.Com.

This is very bizarre.   One site has the blog entry that he posted, while his MySpace account shows current activity.

Hoax?   Real?   This is too bizarre.   And sad (if he committed suicide, or if he was so bored as to pull such stupid stunt).

Some Amusing Videos

I ran across a few videos early this morning... the first one is just geeky-cool, the second one is just hilarious. There is a link to some more (some are.. odd..).

The Wizards Of Winter - christmas lights 'done right'!!

Forget the Girls... this is Cats Gone Crazy!

Some more here.


What I Would Enjoy Receiving At Christmas 2005

Here's what I can think of:

    1. A geeky beverage chiller

    2. Age Of Empires III Deluxe Boxed Edition (fun and educational too!)

    3. Someone with fashion sense to take me clothes shopping (that means not any relative my age or older)

    4. Star Trek Movies - I thru IX - On DVD (widescreen, of course) - already have X (Nemesis)


    1. The company of a certain woman (ongoing would be preferable)

    2. Liposuction   (taking off weight gained during my two foot surgeries has been a bear)

    3. To erase the various wrong things I've said to my kids this year (full-time single parent life is overwhelming at times, times four)

    4. For a good Watchmen movie to be produced, which uses the Watchmen mini-series as the script, untouched

That's not too much to ask for, is it?

MOVIE: Various

In no particular order:

Rent:   Not knowing what the basic premise of this stage production was, I ended up a bit shocked to find it was the story of several friends, most of which have AIDS, most of which were homosexually involved with each other (those who were not were drug junkies) and all of which were trying to make a place in the world like any other person.   I really enjoyed the movie, which surprised me I guess.   I have no time for "blatant" homosexuals (and this movie did feature one named "Angel") as I have always felt that such people are more into the ATTENTION than the sexuality.   But again, I did enjoy this movie adaptation of the stage play. Good music, interesting lyrics (to say the least) and a very sad, touching ending.   Definitely not for kids.

In The Mix:   Cute movie about an italian mobster's daughter (yum) being protected by an black music mixer.   It was very predictable, but was fun to watch, at least.

Zathura:   A definite kids-movie.   I would have no problem taking any kid I know to see this movie.   It was quite enjoyable.

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire:   This was a decent enough movie, but I did not find it as good as the other movies in the series, personally.   The story had odd holes in it (where there needed to be more information to those who have NOT read the books, such as I).   I would have rather seen this during a matinee to pay less money... oh well.

Yours, Mine And Ours:   A good remake of the original which starred Lucille Ball.   Not exactly Oscar material.   The movie hits home with me mainly because I've always wanted a big family, so I'm a bit partial to it before I even sat in the theater.

It's been a busy two weeks!


Buying XBoxes On EBay

So now I find myself in the unique position to help "an acquaintance" get an XBox360 today, on EBay.   Holy sheep dip, Batman!   People are getting $900-1200 for them!

Wow.   Well, in any case, mission accomplished.


Thanksgiving 2005

The Mighty Four are spending the afternoon with their mom, so I'm home doing this'n'that until it's time to go feast at my parent's house.

The music mix at my house today turns out to be, in no particular order, as follows:

  • Inspirational:   Jaci Velasquez - Imagine Me Without You.mp3

  • Inspirational:   dc Talk - Red Letters.mp3

  • Movies:   Blade 1 - Confusion (New Order).mp3

  • Movies:   Fantastic 4 - Everything Burns (Ben Moody featuring Anastacia).mp3

  • Movies:   Xanadu - (05 of 10) Whenever You're Away From Me (Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly).MP3

  • Popular (live):   Dave Brubeck - Take 5 (live).mp3

  • Popular A-G:   Aerosmith - Jaded.mp3

  • Popular A-G:   American Hi-Fi - The Geeks Get The Girls.mp3

  • Popular A-G:   Art Garfunkel - Bright Eyes.mp3

  • Popular A-G:   Depeche Mode - Precious.mp3

  • Popular A-G:   Duran Duran - Ordinary World.MP3

  • Popular A-G:   Evanescence - Hello.mp3

  • Popular H-N:   Jennifer Lopez - Ain't It Funny.mp3

  • Popular O-Z:   Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody.MP3

  • Popular O-Z:   Seether with Amy Lee - Broken.mp3

  • Popular O-Z:   Simple Plan - Untitled.mp3

  • Popular O-Z:   The Killers - All These Things That I've Done.mp3

  • Popular O-Z:   U2 - Stuck In A Moment.mp3

  • Television:   Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon - C'est La Vie - Watashi No Naka No Koi Suru Bubun.mp3

No remixes.   No people taking other people's hard work and remixing it for their own 15 minutes of fame.   Real music by real artists.   Nift.

Hope your turkey day is a good one!

The Amazing Race (2005)

Watching this season (#8) of The Amazing Race makes me HAPPY that I am a California native, visiting Florida "long term", because Florida is being horribly represented.

The Weaver family (from Ormond Beach, Florida, just a few miles from me) is truly undeserving.. OR, the producers at CBS are MAKING THEM look really bad.   Either way, I wish they'd just get eliminated and disappear from an otherwise great show.


MAME v.102

Update to MAME v.102 complete.   :-)

Trying Out TextAmerica.Com

Photo blogging, basically.   I thought I'd try it out for a bit (though I'll not be sending many, if any, photos from any cell phone any time soon -- a silly expense, in my book).

I'm at

Domain Registry Of America

I truly cannot comprehend what it must be like to be one of the 98% of Americans who have no clue how to Register A Domain Name, build their Own Computer, or even just Install An OS on their computer...

Saturday I received snailmail from "Domain Registry Of America".   They wished to send me a "courtesy letter" that my domain (one of them, they claim) would be expiring in a few months, and that switching to their Registry would allow me to enjoy their "best savings" (which was, of course, a joke compared to using many registrars which charge less than $10 a year these days, such as GKG who I use regularly).

They were cordial enough to offer me to pay 2.5 times the price I currently pay for the right to have a line of text in their database!   Instead of less than $10 a year, they were willing to let me pay $25 a year!

Such a noble effort.   I certainly hope that I can get that domain registered again before May 2006 when it's due to be renewed by!


A quote from Hans Christian Andersen came my way this morning.   It would make an awesmoe tattoo (because that's where I saw it):

"Where words fail, music speaks."

Happy Birthday... you.


Performing With US Army Band!

My older daughter Daniella (along with a few of her band mates) has been selected to play with the US Army Band today in Port Orange.   Message below from the SCHS Band Director:

The following Spruce Creek High School Music students have been invited to perform with the US Army Band and Chorus from Washington D.C. today at the City of Port Orange Amphitheater.   Concert time is 3:00pm   -   It is free and open to the public.   They will be performing one or two American marches during the second part of the concert (after the intermission).

The students below should report to the Director of the Army Bands backstage at 2:15pm TODAY.   Concert Uniforms should be worn.

James MacKenzie – Bassoon
Anthony Garner - Tuba
Marcel Chehin – Trombone
Virginia Prestwood – Trumpet
Wally Young – Baritone Saxophone
Daniel Rizzo – Tuba
Daniella Malena – Trombone
Carl Shafer – Trombone
Charles Roberts – Trumpet
Amanda El Shemi – Flute
Jerica O’Neal – Clarinet


TV, Movies, XBox 360, Oh My

[Rumor] Robocop:   Apparently Sony is redesigning Robocop for the 21st century.   Paul Verhoeven won't be working on it as of now.   A remake of Robocop? Hmmm.

Terminator:   "The Sarah Conner Chronicles" (current working title) is a series that Fox is trying to put together which would show what happened to the female character after T2.   This sounded dumb to me initially, but I guess it's possible that T2 tech recovered and being used (and her efforts to stop it) could be the storyline.

XBox 360:   A ton of games are officially playable on XBox 360 (from the original XBox library), and more are on the way.   A list is kept here.   Also, Halo and Halo 2 fans (i.e., XBox owners) will be very pleased when they run these games on their 360... as with added anti-aliasing and higher resolutions, they are going to look EVEN BETTER than before.

Blade:   Actual production started on the Blade TV series, which will star Kirk Jones.   It will be on Spike TV, and is being filmed in Vancouver (Canada).

On a side note, I haven't purchased my comics in six weeks, so I have a rude awakening in store for me today when I go to Orlando to retrieve them... my wallet will be in for some shell-shock, since the House Of M is winding down, and Infinite Crisis is kicking off.


Football Season Over (aka Marching Band Season)

Unlike most band parents (and even most staff it seems), I hate the fact that marching season is basically over at Spruce Creek.   I enjoy it.   :-(


More Storage

Tony = Happy.   400GB more storage is on it's way for the primary family server.

Between television episodes, movies and marching band videos, I'm eating up the storage I had (which at 250+40+40GB was nothing to sneeze at, but still ends up being inadequate for what I know will be happening in the next 12 months - I currently have close to 60GB available, which is quickly dwindling).

"But Tony, why didn't you opt for a 500GB drive," you may ask?

Well, because they average 40-50% more for 25% more storage.   It's called simple math.   :-P   Since I use server Ceiling for all document storage anyway, I may just scavenge the 250GB drive from my personal computer and stick a 40GB in it from the server. Makes more sense.   I currently show that I'm using 19GB of it.

I look forward to the replacement to DVDs...


Love And Hate

Interesting quote (sort of) from an episode of Crossing Jordan I watched tonight off DVR:

  "How can love turn into hate?"

There's the question... though I think many times, it's not hate.   The quote is an over-simplification of the many facets of love, combined with disappointment (in yourself and in the other person) and probably expectations that had no business being held.

(I'm trying to exercise my wisdom muscles tonight I guess)


(Free) Download Manager

Cool utility of the week award:   Free Download Manager

People, Dogs And Stupidity

So I own a dog (by virtue of divorce, as I originally bought it for my ex-wife) who cannot be left in a yard without a fence (something I would assume you cannot do with most dogs), and once every 3-6 months, he runs out the front door when someone is trying to enter or exit.

So there is this neighbor (not the redneck who attacked me [see Oct 13 2001] but the one who has children with no self control regarding fireworks, and who gets drunk and makes idle threats [see Aug 14 2004]) who owns a dog who does (mostly) stay in their unfenced yard (he goes out and drops feces in other yards as I've observed many times).   Apparently he is well trained since he doesn't do it in his own yard.

So recently, when my dog runs out, goes to his yard, acts like he's going to kill their dog, then when he realizes he is 1/5 the size of that dog (ours is a Miniature Dauschund, theirs is some pit bull or-something mean-looking kind-of-dog, but I've never seen it be beligerant), our dog runs back toward our house yelping.   It's happened at least twice before in about 2 years.

So the neighbor comes over as I'm carrying my dog towards my front door and states "I'm sorry about that, man, but you know, my dog was in his yard".   Huh?!

So I'm wondering, is it the law that the animal does not have to be on a leash if it HAPPENS to be in it's own yard, or is it the law that it HAS to be on a leash no matter what if it's not in a secured area?   Their dog ROAMS the local vicinity looking for new places to call a restroom when the owner is "not looking", and either way, if it ever bit anyone, he would obviously be liable.   But more, this guy gives me this quote which DEMANDS a smarta$$ respnose.   Thankfully, I was in normal form, and took the UNEXPECTED approach as is my preference in such situations, and simply said "I'm aware, thank you" and continued toward my front door.   He stood there a few moment staring at me and then turned away.

What a nut.



Where does "hiding from your parents" end and "cowardice" (or fear of acting like an adult) begin?


The Responsible One

I really am tired of being "the responsible one". It translates roughly into me being the "mean one", the "overbearing one", the "joyless one"...

Just once I'd like to be able to say "the heck with what [insert various names here] thinks".

At this, I am a failure.

But what frustrates me MOST is that I have this problem with my OWN KIDS sometimes.   I equate it to "Getting Old" which is ALSO frustrating.   At the ripe age of 37, I feel like I'm finally "getting older".   :-(

Hello, Panasonic

The Aiwa CD/MP3 player died a few weeks back (I had hoped beyond hope that it was a write behind the dash come loose, because PreOut Bass Output was working fine).   Plugging the factory stereo in showed that it was indeed the Aiwa.   I really wasn't interested in buying a new stereo.

But of course, I did.   A new Panasonic (went middle-of-the-road this time, which is still better than the years-old Aiwa thanks to technology's progression) is now installed   (imagine this: I did it myself)   and I'm happy again.



This movie was just plain dumb and not very interesting (no wonder they had "The Rock" star in it).

I see no reason to waste time analyzing it.   Read here.


Cunningham Research For 8 Years

Today is my eight year anniversary at Cunningham Research where I serve as the Manager of Data Processing.   That's quite a long time, eh?   What a long, wild trip it's been so far...


Band Headlines

Spruce Creek High School's performing arts program is busy as usual this winter season.   The director passed some forthcoming headlines that will be appearing in local newspapers to the parents... see them here.



Stupid System Processes (zHotkey.exe)

What brainiac thought this up?

On my particular system, this system process is over 3MB in size! That's larger VNC Server! For what... the ability to hit a special key on my keyboard to run a calculator, webbrowser or mail client?! IT RUNS SHORTCUTS basically. It takes up MORE RAM than a SERVER that allows FULL GRAPHICAL ACCESS TO MY DESKTOP?!?


Goodbye, zHotkey.exe... *phzt!*


Orbiter Online... Just Barely

I posted a new message at the homepage of Orbiter Online for those few who visit it still (as noted in my webserver's logs).


Gunkies No More At Spruce Creek High School

Apparently one single person with an opinion can significantly alter how a school in the Volusia County School System operates.

For years, Spruce Creek High School's band program has a tradition (offbeat, different, yes..) of calling new band members (mostly freshmen, but not limited to) "Gunkies".   During their first year in the band, they are made to do several things out of the ordinary (for the rest of the band).

- They're required to wear a nametag during the week-long band camp before school starts, and they are required to get the signatures of all the band captains on that tag (to get each signature, the captain makes you do something - and that captain has to be able to do it as well)

- They're assigned as groups (sections, typically) to bring in "extra instruments" after various practices (such as, the Flute section having to also bring in drum equipment)

- They're treated like, let's say, a plebe in the Naval Academy, or a new recruit in boot camp in the US Armed Forces.

- They're beginning their trek through years of training to become LEADERS.

That just ended thanks to one anonymous person who decided it "wasn't fair" (and in fact called it "harassment"; the term "hazing" also came up during the conversation).   This person elected to be anonymous to "protect their student" from others who may cause problems if it were known who caused this to happen.

I find it appalling that the school decided to bow to the wants of an anonymous, uninformed person who wrote eloquent letters (two of them) threatening the school with retaliatory action if their student did not come home and inform them that "Gunkie" and all related operations had been removed from the band's curriculum.   In truth, it was the band director Mr. Kidd, in an attempt (apparently) to keep it simple and avoid potential escalation, who decided it would be easier to just give in.   I don't like this idea (neither did a large number of those who were vocal about it during tonight's band parent meeting)...   but, what else COULD he do? He is facing someone who is CLAIMING they are going to involve the school board, the county school system, and probably further than that!

Heaven forbid this person ever get involved with the armed forces, or with any organization that grooms leaders, self-thinkers, go-getters or simply well-rounded individuals who have learned the difference between "harassment" and building character, learning how to deal with life, or just plain growing as a human being.

My kids and I have come up with a unique way to "voice" our concern over this. It should be showing up very soon. It should get a lot of laughs and/or nods of agreement based on what we saw tonight.

Hope you're happy, John (or Jane) Doe. You just lessened part of a great 25-plus year tradition of helping build leading, self-aware, human thinkers, all for the sake of stopping your kid from carrying an extra instrument into the band room once in a while...



MOVIE: Roll Bounce

Well, with yet another genre (70's skating scene) remade into the hiphop image for yet another movie, I was not exactly impressed with this one.

There was very little "acting" involved.   Well, actually there was very little "story" involved.   It had quite a few "ethnic-based" jokes, which is fine for comedy relief (hispanic jokes, black jokes, white jokes, mixed-race jokes, ad nauseum) but the story, and the skate-doubles who would do the real moves for the actors (such as "Bow Wow"), left a lot to be desired.

It was a nice movie, with a lot of popular 70's music, but we should have gone during a matinee showing -- not late night at full price.   Of course, being at a Regal Theatre where the entire film was masked by floating "dark-glass filtering" as if we were in a 95 cent movie theatre didn't help either.

The best part of the entire evening was after I made three complaints about the picture quality and received five free unrestricted movie passes.   Coolness.


Losing Posts

About three weeks ago, Blogger lost an entry I made, out of the blue, no good reason. No solution from support.

Today, I just spent over an HOUR drafting a very lengthy and indepth posting, and Blogger BOMBED posting it, and I could not recover the post using any of the geeky-capabilities available to me. Not in any cache, not within the history of Firefox's browser, NOTHING.

I feel like I need to beat my head in with a herring now.


MOVIE: Flightplan

This movie was extremely well made.   It's a psychological drama of sorts, and I had it all wrong halfway through the movie (which is to say, it mislead me perfectly).   I thought I was so smart when I noted several things that were happening that many average movie-goers would not normally notice (in my opinion) but then out of the blue, the real story suddenly came out perhaps 2/3 of the way through the movie, and I was taken completely by surprise. I like it when a movie can do that to me, a "well trained movie-goer".   :-)

Go to the movie, and just try and figure out what's actually going on, and who's really the one doing what. I'll bet you are wrong once it's revealed!

MOVIE: The Corpse Bride

I was really looking forward to this movie, but was disappointed (due to my own hype over it).

It was a "nice" movie, but that's it. I found myself nitpicking things constantly for some reason. The animation was great (much more fluid than The Nightmare Before Christmas). The story was OKAY. The detail put into visual versus audio aspects of the movie were poor in this anal person's opinion.

Go see it, but try to see it during a matinee or with passes or something.



Why Men Die Younger

(found on Rooster Teeth's web forum today...)

Do you know how tough it is being a man...?

If you put a woman on a pedestal and try to protect her from the rat race, you're a male chauvinist.
If you stay home and do the housework, you're a pansy.

If you work too hard there is never any time for her.
If you don't work enough, you're a good-for-nothing bum.

If she has a boring repetitive job with low pay, this is exploitation.
If you have a boring repetitive job with low pay, you should get off your butt and find something better.

If you get a promotion ahead of her, that is favoritism.
If she gets a job ahead of you, it's equal opportunity.

If you mention how nice she looks, it's sexual harassment.
If you keep quiet, it's male indifference.

If you cry, you're a wimp.
If you don't, you're an insensitive pig.

If you make a decision without consulting her, you're a chauvinist.
If she makes a decision without consulting you, she's a liberated woman.

If you ask her to do something she doesn't enjoy, that's domination.
If she asks you, it's a favor.

If you appreciate the female form and frilly lingerie, you're a pervert.
If you don't, then you can’t be straight.

If you like a woman to shave her legs and keep in shape, you're sexist.
If you don't, you're unromantic.

If you try to keep yourself in shape, you're vain.
If you don't, you're a slob.

If you buy her flowers, you're after something.
If you don't, you're not thoughtful.

If you're proud of your achievements, you're full of yourself.
If you don't, you're not ambitious enough.

If she has a headache, she's tired.
If you have a headache, you don't love her anymore.


Eleven Rules Of Life (a fable attributed to Bill Gates)

The music teacher at my kids' Middle School gave out a copy of these rules and attributed them as "supposedly coming from Bill Gates".   I recognized them right away, and thought I'd post a link to them here (they are NOT from Bill Gates, by the way).

One of my favorite items is #11:

Be nice to nerds.   Chances are you'll end up working for one.


MAME v.100

Update to MAME v.100 complete.   :-)

Jaci Velasquez

Jaci is a singer who I have really, really liked over the years - a Christian singer (predominately) of latin decent who has released albums in both English and Spanish. She also happens to be quite beautiful (that always helps for a "fanboy" as apparently I am one).

I just noticed online that her marriage only lasted 2 years (2003-2005) which is really unfortunate. I hate to hear about divorce with any couple. Hopefully it won't have a negative impact on her long-term musical career...


Love Hurts

It is incredible to me when love makes people say and do really stupid things. It's happened to me, repeatedly over the years. It just happened again with myself and someone very special. Comments made about who is demanding what from our relationship right now, made in error, which I find near-impossible to ignore... but will do so.

Relationships can be very draining. Even the lack of a relationship (and the attempt to keep any such relationship down) can be emotionally crippling.

Why couldn't I just choose to be gay...   (sigh)   Oh, that's right. Never mind.


MOVIE: The 40 Year Old Virgin

Um... okay.

This movie was VERY funny, but also VERY vulgar. If you can work around that fact (do not bring the kids, I don't care how open minded you are) then you'll probably enjoy it. I did. It had an absolutely HILARIOUS ending (thank you, 1960's and 1970's).

Why Men Are Happier

(my mother insists on forwarding spam and other goody-goody emails to me constantly;   this one was pretty funny, so I thought I'd share it here)

Men are just happier people -- What do you expect from such simple creatures?

Your last name stays put.

The garage is all yours.

Wedding plans take care of themselves.

Chocolate is just another snack.

You can be president.

You can never be pregnant.

You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.

You can wear NO shirt to a water park.

Car mechanics tell you the truth.

The world is your urinal.

You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.

You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.

Same work, more pay.

Wrinkles add character.

Wedding dress $5,000. Tux rental $100.

People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.

The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.

New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.

One mood all the time.

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.

You know stuff about tanks.

A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.

You can open all your own jars.

You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.

If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.

Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.

You almost never have strap problems in public.

You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.

Everything on your face stays its original color.

The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.

You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life.

Your belly usually hides your big hips.

One wallet and one pair of shoes, one color for all seasons.

You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.

You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife.

You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 20-25 minutes.

No wonder men are happier.

High School Reunions

As I journey through my 37th year of life, I look to the future, which next year means my 20th high school reunion.   Er, reunions.

My parents moved us from Duarte to Monrovia (California), which is the city "next door", during the latter half of my junior year.   The result is that the end of my junior year, and my entire senior year, were spent at a private school (which also happened to be the church I had gone to since I was a kid - Calvary Road Baptist Church).

So   -   I am an alumni of Calvary Road Christian Academy (now "Baptist Academy") but still feel strong roots to my original Duarte High School.   I especially missed band (in all it's forms) as my new school was not big enough to have a band.   In fact, my class (of 1986) to date is still the largest graduating class ever - 8 people.   Whoa!!   (ahem)

In any case, I am now planning on attending the reunion for DHS (I did not know about their 10 year reunion, else I would have attended that in 1996), and I also find myself currently in a position of trying to plan a reunion for CRCA.

Planning a reunion for 8 people after twenty years is rather daunting. I think it's going to be an extreme situation -- either a huge success (6+ people) or a dismal failure (possibly 2-3 people). We'll see as time moves forward. Two of the "CRCA Eight" live here in Florida now, and most of the other six I have no clue (as of this evening) where they live. I have ways to get ahold of them (not the least of which is through members of my childhood church itself).

A Yahoo group for Duarte High alumni is also available here.


Hurricane Age (Of Empires 3)

Central Florida is shutting down as quickly as possible with the POSSIBLE threat of a tropical storm ("Oephelia" I believe) coming on Friday.

More importantly, the demo to Age Of Empires III is now available!   Get it!


A Friendship Ended (Long Ago, I Guess)

A friend from high school, who disappeared for over a decade and then suddenly reappeared and wanted to have a very different friendship (including no discussion of the time we had lost) has decided that we are no longer to be friends.

I'm sad.   Fortunately his departure is technically long-standing, so it was more of a glimmer-of-hope that we'd found each other again, then the dull thud as the door closed again.   Still, I'm sad.

Life goes one.   Minus one friend.   Goodbye Mike.

Love Phones

Call me old-fashioned, but I think Cell Phones are great devices for those have a need to get in touch with you when you are not at home... not a device for creating relationships (or ruining existing ones already on the rocks) and not a device for kids still in their pre-college school years except perhaps for the occasional long trip for emergency purposes.

Just an observation. I'm still on course for living on a desert island sometime in the future, I think... or joining the Peace Corps...


Halo 3 Coming November 2005 For XBox 360?

Interesting little link here.

Google Talk, aka Jabber

I'm now Jabber-enabled, for those who like the Instant Message world. My Google account is now setup in my GAIM client under Google's new Talk system (run via the Jabber protocol).

Star Trek XI: The Beginning?! Give Me More Doctor Who Instead!

No!   NO!   NOOOOOO!!!

Someone stop Paramount!   Star Trek needs a REST!!   I love Star Trek, but I don't want it to be run into the ground!   Heck, even Doctor Who took some time off, and now it's better than ever by far!   C'mon!!   (if you are an American-bound entity, such as myself, you may have trouble catching the good Doctor, but I'm sure there are a torrent of methods available to view these episodes, if you catch my drift...)


MOVIE: The Cave

My children elected this movie as our Friday Night Excursion, so off we went to the Port Orange Six. I didn't expect it to be a huge hit.

I was not overwhelmed with the movie - but it was "enjoyable". Contact lenses that were supposed to make people look scary ended up looking like their vision was impaired and their heads moved around like (forgive me..) Ray Charles or something.

The general idea of the movie was good, and semi-original. The acting was passable. The ending was a cute twist (like so many such movies have these days) and it left open at least three possible storylines for sequel(s).

I wished I had seen this at a matinee price, but it beat sitting around the house all evening.

MOVIE: Red Eye

Watching this movie, I had to remind myself this was something by Wes Craven - it was not as... horrific?... as I expected. It was a GOOD suspense thriller. I enjoyed it very much. I thought there were some basic holes in the logic of it all (for those who know the movie -- why not just scream on the plane and get the guy subdued and have someone call her dad and tell him "THERE'S A SILVER CAR OUT FRONT - BAD PEOPLE = TRUE!". But I digress (for I am nitpicky like that). It was a decent movie.


Spruce Creek High Steppin' Hawks Band

Well, another year, another 14,724 events to put into the family calendar for the band (give or take a thousand).   Whew!


Free Computers

What a cool way to end the work week... being told that there are fifty computers and monitors, plus printers, other hardware and peripherals and more, sitting outside for anyone to take (due to recent upgrades).

I helped myself. Royally. Just about all of it was being used just a few days previously (and worst case, I scalp the drives and internal cards for spare parts). Nift!


MAME .99 Complete

Happiness is a 100% perfect MAME v.99 collection.   :-)   All ROMs, all samples, and all known icons, screenshots, control panel templates, etc...

Life is good. MAME v1.0 soon..?


Yahoo [Instant Messenger] Is EVIL

I am boycotting Yahoo IM.   That's it.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to ween those few people I know that "matter to me" off of my Yahoo IM account, because 98% of the contacts I receive through it are "eligible women" looking for "love".   Riiiight.   I previously reported this, but it's just ridiculous. Are there REALLY that many women desperate to get out of Niceragua, or who are here on (what I guess to be) student visas and who want (I assume) a way to stay in the country?

These women are not wanting me (as every one of them claims).   There's no way.   It doesn't matter if I pretend to be a mean, horrible, hateful person, or a gay-animal-molester, or if I ask them rude questions, or if I simply go places verbally I would normally NEVER go.... they just continue to act as if I am an Adonis sent from the heavens to answer their prayers and that they wish to live with me forever.   What a crock.   I always look to see if their account is less than a month old, and they never are.   Usually they are 6 months to 3 years old, so they're not "casual phishers" or anything...

Every.. and I mean EVERY... single one of the "women" I'm talking about type like this (these are actual quotes from my gaim history log):

From "J": am happy u haven't 4gotten me cos u
are always on my mind

From "SF": am infatuated in u

From "WS": sweetie ...i want to come for holliday there

From "WS": what do u intend doing this week end

Most of the women have tried to "pursue me" for months (I have history logs going back to late 2004 for some of them - god, I love gaim).   It's sad (and sometimes I feel BAD for them, because they MUST be desperate to cling to someone they know NOTHING about and who they are acting like they are ENGAGED to).   :-(


Star Trek Fan Films - Whole New Series For Your Enjoyment!

It seems there have been quite a few fan groups out there making actual SERIES out of Star Trek lore ... full blown, special effects rich episodes of "Star Trek"! I have always loved fan videos of various sorts, but never paid attention to this stuff since I assumed it to be overly campy, no budget and silly. Then I actually looked at it.

You should check some of it out.

A long running series, Star Trek Hidden Frontier can be downloaded and seen from here.

Another series that looks promising (and actually has Walter Koenig to star in an upcoming episode) is located here, called Star Trek New Voyages. It takes place during the never-seen fourth and fifth year of the original five year mission.

There is also Star Trek Intrepid which you can get to here, which is just starting it's efforts.

I'm also eagerly anticipating (for many months now) the release of the Star Trek / Babylon 5 crossover movie "Star Wreck - In The Pirkinning". The trailers make it look REALLY funny and it's completely filled with special effects and funny moments. All hail Emperor Pirk! The last I read, it's supposed to be released by the end of this August 2005!! Now we'll find out if Kirk can beat Sheridan's butt (or get some "light balls" thrown at him instead).   :-)

The Video Game Pianist (aka The Blindfolded Pianist)

Okay, so I'm jealous of this guy (and his mad piano skills)...

He gained notoriety for playing a montage of Super Mario music (yes, from the video game) on the internet, and the rest is history. He has played for various websites, at E3, and at the first ever Video Games Live concert at the Hollywood Bowl on July 6th (the kids and I really enjoyed his performance there).

I suspect he has a future as a master blackjack dealer, if this music thing doesn't pan out for him.


Max OS On Intel, News At 11

Apparently hell *did* freeze over, because people at various websites are reporting that, since the non-release of Max OS-X for Intel chipsets, people are getting this OS installed onto a variety of computers. Of course Apple will probably be a bit annoyed about this... or finally get smart and enter the OS market (as opposed to the all-in-one solution market).

Link to Slashdot's latest coverage.


MOVIE: Sky High

A movie about a high school for kids with super-powers.

Okay, so it's a Disney-fied version of the X-Men. It was still cute. No questionable material for your kids to witness. A decent storyline. Above average special effects. I enjoyed it. And of course, the setup for a sequel, if they wanted it...

MOVIE: Stealth

This movie was pretty good. An old science fiction idea rehashed with modern themes (yawn). The acting was so-so. The special effects were above average. The story line was so-so. Then after a FAIRLY CLEAN dialogue in the movie, the (literally) last sentence spoken had to be a bit vulger (and therefore, out of place given that the movie did not have such dialogue overall).


Family Orthodontics Are Fun! (not)

The entire family except Daniella is now with Braces. Dani gets hers in a few weeks after she has used a jaw expander for a while (yikes! holy medieval torture device, batman!)

My teeth hurt.


Levar Burton Set To Assassinate Paramount Execs

"STAR TREK coming to an end is long overdue. They ran it into the ground and made so much STAR TREK that it ceased to be special. If they bring this back before a decade is out, I will get a high-powered weapon and start picking off studio executives."

I think that is hilarious! And (as much as I appreciate Star Trek in general) I agree with him. 2010 should be the EARLIEST they even CONSIDER putting out anything new in the Trek universe.

Here is a link to the entire article.


Refunds From Allstate Insurance?

Whoa! Getting money you didn't expect (especially in the hundreds-of-dollars spectrum) is good, but getting it from your former auto insurance carrier because they "overcharged" you is just... odd.

I'm not complaining. Just scratching my head. ;-)

MOVIE: Fantastic 4

(I'm still getting used to calling it Fantastic "4" instead of "Four")

As a lifelong comics collector, I certainly had big expectations for this movie (and as well, understood full well that it would be revamped, altered and different than any Fantastic Four that had ever existed before). I also knew the storyline and many details being the internet geek that I am, before seeing the movie.

In all, I was happy with the movie. The effects were "good" (but I was really hoping for TOP of the line, and they were not - The Thing and Mister Fantastic were lacking by far in my opinion).

Doctor Doom was played well, though having him as part of the crew (so he gained his OWN powers), having him CLEARLY not as smart as Reed Richards (more of a Donald Trump mentality than anything) and having him NOT sound different when donning his mask (this could be explained easily in sequels that he alters his voice later with technology) were really frustrating. Also having him totally focused on taking Susan Storm as his own (being one of his primary goals) was a bit off.

The "big finale" was well done, though, in general. I could nitpick this movie to DEATH if I really wanted to (especially as a collector of the series) but I choose to enjoy this "movie version" of the story, just like Spider-Man, just like the Hulk.

Shipping Doom's "body" off to Latveria at the end... now THAT was smart(!). I truly look forward to a sequel with a bigger budget and BETTER EFFECTS for the rest of the FF. They've got Sue and Johnny down pat - let's get Reed and Ben up to snuff now guys!

MOVIE: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

I'm still trying to decide if I liked this movie or not.

It was visually appealing. It was colorful. Johnny Depp did a great job as a "tramautized" Willa Wonka (as opposed to Gene Wilder's "psychotic" Wonka). The kids, including "Charlie", were fine.

But then Boba Fett came in. I mean the Oompa Loompa. I mean the Oompa Loompas (plural). It was revenge of the clones. Why do this? Did Tim Burton think it was a GOOD idea? It was stupid. The effects that tried to make them appear small compared to humans was also not "up to par" (unfortunately this is something you compare to "current technology", not "in general" - in general, these were good effects).

And the music... whoa. I wasn't prepared for SUCH modernization, I guess. I expected the Oompa Loompa song, customized for each child. This was different. It wasn't "bad", per se. It was just different.

I may need to see this again, just to feel more clearly about it (and I guess that means in general I was NOT satisfied with it). Some movies I see again (and again!) because I love them. This one, I may see again just to try and figure it out more.

MOVIE: Herbie Fully Loaded

This movie was cute. My kids certainly enjoyed it. It's always nice to have a movie that you have absolutely no worries about having mature-themed material in it. The most mature item in this movie was the lead characters falling in love (no sex, no drugs, no stupidity, just clean fun).


James Doohan ("Scotty") dies at 85

James Doohan passed away at the age 85 today. Another loss to the fandom, entertainment, and worldwide communities.

The same quote I used when Gene passed away, straight from one of the best episodes ever of ST:TNG: "His Eyes Closed"

Relevate Google News Search here.

The Malena Family Vacation - 2005

The obsessive/anal side of me wants to post major details, spanning many paragraphs, about each day we were in California this year (such as each and every song played at the Video Game Music concert, which was truly awesome, or what I did with J.D., a friend I made while there). But, in the interest of readability, I'm posting as brief a summary as I can possibly muster.

Arrived a day EARLY - that was neat (didn't know that it only took 45 hours to drive Daytona Beach, Florida to Duarte, California - only 42 to the California border).

Spent (most) of our bedtimes at one of the many Best Western Hotels located on famous Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. Nothing special overall, but it was certainly adequate, and since we spent as little time as possible in the room, that was fine.

Went to the Hollywood Bowl twice - July 4th for the Independence Day / Disneyland Anniversary concert and fireworks, and July 6th for the first-ever Video Game Music concert. Both were great, but the Video Game concert certainly struck home more with all five of us (and I now plan on at least ONE, up to THREE, new video game purchases after all was said and done).

Went to Knott's Berry Farm for the day (courtesy of the kids' grandparents) which was even more fun than I anticipated (they've gotten a lot racier than when I was a kid). We also went to Magic Mountain (on a Monday, which was awesome, no crowds) and I learned what a ping pong ball feels like. EVERY SINGLE ROLLERCOASTER treated me like one. OUCH.

We took a day cruise to Catalina Island (the city of Avalon, which is a subsidiary/unincorporated part of Long Beach, California, I learned) and even fished (I caught the biggest and most edible one, by the way).

There was a lot of driving done - Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Malibu, Long Beach, all over the San Gabriel Valley (my stomping grounds while growing up) - Duarte, Monrovia, Arcadia, Pasadena - then all the Los Angeles "cities" (unincorporated ones, including Hollywood and the surrounding areas).

We had an afternoon trip right next door to LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) to see Q and the gang from West Coast Customs live! (they are the makeover mavens from the "Pimp My Ride" TV series). I bought a t-shirt and had those who were available sign it (Q, Q.O.D and Ish). Took a bunch of photos of them and the kids together. It was truly righteous, yo. (snicker)

We went to several movies: Star Wars III (again, because it was at the Cineramadome at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood - a major experience in itself). Fantastic Four . Herbie - Fully Loaded. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.

There was a visit to the LA Arboretum (in Arcadia). It was VERY sunny so we did not stay as long as planned (mainly due to my inability to use sunscreen the entire trip and my "bubbly skin"). :-P

We walked around Hollywood, went into the Guiness World Record museum, the Hollywood Wax Museum, and snapped photos of various crazies along the streets (plus photos of the hand and footprints stars have left in the cement outside the world famous Chinese Theater). We also drove around some stars' homes in Beverly Hills (note: buying a map of stars homes to try and find them is pretty much a waste of time, in my opinion - you aren't going to see squat, and it's tedious anyway).

We ate at quite a few nice restaurants, but of course I definitely made a few trips to Gene's Grinders in Monrovia, as well as In-And-Out Burger. The Elephant Bar was good, too. I went to a place which had an band playing live all night (never even got IN though J.D. and I stood outside sipping our drinks and chatting to death for over four hours). The $2 per plate sushi place was "pretty okay" as well. It was called something irish, and I've completely forgotten the name now.

I visited as many friends as I could find:

  • Martin Atencio and his Family - went out twice and had food, took pictures, chatted

  • John Rigali and his Family - went out, had food, took pictures, visited his dad Bob as well

  • Mike Porter - still can't find him - he disappeared years ago, plus this time, I couldn't even get ahold of his family at home after several attempts, despite constant shifting of the vehicles there - perhaps... it's a message.

  • Chris Thomas and Family - could not locate

  • Daniel Carreker and Family - lost their phone number and then did not encounter them when I attempted a visit

  • Aunt Francine and Family - visited, ate with and took photos of (including the cousins I barely know who are pretty much grown up now)

Others... unfound. Saw a lot of familiar faces at my original church, Calvary Road Baptist in Monrovia (where I also ended up graduating from High School from). The church has changed yet again (and unfortunately I couldn't help but wonder if it's having problems based on how it operated while I was there, but that's based on two Sundays only).

We stayed an extra two days, mainly to spend another afternoon chatting with Marty and family (originally John was going to join us, but everything changed in-progress).

I'm quite sure I missed some things, plus some special events happened with J.D. which certainly made the vacation even more memorable (and made leaving even more unbearable - I was in tears at one point, leaving the area, and leaving her). I may have to come back and update this entry if it's something major.

Pictures are slowly making it to my website. We took over 1100 of them, and I'm just putting them up grouped by "day taken". No computer during the vacation was one of the smartest things I ever thought to do. Leaving the Hollywood Bowl tickets at home was not (replaced at the gate, of course).

All in all, it was a major success for all (if I read my kids' attitudes properly).

There WAS a minor mishap on the way home, AND an infection I had earlier this year started to come back as we drove home, as well. It was as if the elements and/or some unseen force were telling us "go back, stay there"...


California Trip Done

...but I'm not ready to post details yet. Not about the trip, the auto accident, the medical problem OR the lost/stolen cell phone. :-) I only filled 4.7GB of my 6GB Microdrive CF card in my camera (though I did actively remove a lot of bad pictures during the trip, plus accidentally removed two videos which I mistook for bad photos (Grrrr).

More to come. Home = good, but...


California - In Progress

Well, the first week in California has been a blast!

Movies, touring, boating, more movies, and today we're walkin' Hollywood (Hollywood and Vine vicinity).

There are a ton of pics so far (not going to bother trying to post any from this terminal as it will only allow me to browse forward from the beginning of the microdrive and I'd need to go forward about 800 pictures, as it slowly displays them, so oh well).

Tomorrow is Knott's Berry Farm, then Sunday or Monday should be Magic Mountain.

mmMMmmmmm Gene's Grinders = STILL Good!!

That's it for now...


THEATER: Aida (Seaside Music Theater @ DBCC)

I had originally seen this a couple years ago in Orlando (in a much larger venue) and was very surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

This version presented by Seaside was EXCELLENT!

Even my sons enjoyed it (I knew my daughters would). From the first-last scene full-circle story, to the various sets, to the great musical numbers... it was worth every penny.

Getting to sit a lot closer (due to the smaller theater) made it even more enjoyable. We were able to see every nuance, every action (including one slight wording flub by the King Of Nubia) and were truly entertained by this awesome production.

Greg Mills as Captain Radames: He did quite well. I found myself comparing him to the actor who played the part in Orlando (who's name I no longer remember), but it was a good comparison. He made the part his own.

Carly Hughes as Aida: She was a completely different style from the person who filled the part in Orlando. She was a little more terse, or gruff, and it worked just fine. She (along with Mills and many others) were professional actors brought in to play the part.

Jaygee Macapugay as Amneris: As the person who begins and ends the play, she performed her role well. Her asian-flavor added to the role made it even more interesting in some ways than what I previously remembered (especially with her performance surrounding "My Strongest Suit").

I love this production, and Seaside did a FINE job with it.   :-)

Hitachi 6GB Microdrive

Further readiness for California:

6GB of storage for the Camera. Sweeeeeeet.


California Or Bust!

The kids are in full-swing, getting ready for our road-trip "home" to California (as am I).

We now have a DVD player in the van with dual screens for the long drive; the MP3-stereo now has a new soundsystem attached to it; the dog is setup to be watched (and the cats will have a mechanism in place to allow them the freedom to come and go while we're gone).

The lawn needs mowing (VERY BADLY) but as usual, I have to push and beat someone into doing it -- frankly, if someone were to come along right now and offer to do it for a reasonable price, I'd just take it away from the kids', since THEY don't appear to want to earn the money...

In any case, with the exception of buying snack foods and some extra accessory-clothing, we're ready... six days and counting!


Better Knock Off All The...

(only close friends will have any clue what the title of this entry is relavent to -- don't you feel (non)special)

I read an article about a book called "On Bullshit" which I found utterly fascinating, because the article described about 35% of the people I know (as being people this book is about). I find that on some (not often) occasions, I even fit into this book's definition of the subject. Disturbing.

I plan on buying a copy and reading it sometime in the near future.

Mac OS Goes "Mainstream" - iPods Bite

It never occurred to me that, when the Mac OS went to a *nix type core, that an old thought of many of those (such as I) who appreciate the Macintosh "for what it's good for" would actually come true.

Apple is apparently abandoning the PowerPC architecture and moving to (..drumroll..) Intel chipsets. Slashdot has been my primary source of info about this for the past few weeks, but I decided to do some searching (i.e., Googling) and the prospects so far are awesome.

The Mac OS is really great in a lot of ways. The typical person who has been exposed to Windows for any length of time typically does not like Macintosh, but then again, the same goes the other way. It all comes down to "what you're used to". Macintoshes have ALWAYS been the way to go if you were a graphics artist-type person. It is interesting that the Apple Macintosh basically went from Motorola 68000 series, to PowerPC series, now to (basically) Pentium processors. Talk about full circle. And the driving force behind Apple's limited success has been simple: a simpler (not necessarily better) user interface and cool looking computers.

That's where they decided to expand and delve into related arenas... first with the Newton PDA with handwriting recognition (failed, off market now) and then the iPod.

I've never liked the iPod, but again, part of that is due to "what I'm used to". Most people buy an iPod ONLY BECAUSE it LOOKS COOL (which I agree; it does). Major kudos to Apple for it's "invention" of the "scroll wheel" - that is certainly a very user-friendly interface! But, anyone who tries to argue my beliefs on "why they purchase an iPod" is simply wrong (do not question me; I am right; you are wrong). *snicker*

The functionality of an iPod versus the vast majority of other MP3 players (both the ones available when iPod first came out and the ones today) is like a grand chasm - the iPod blows when it comes to functionality. In fact, now that my daughter has an iPod Mini (because it looked cool and was light-metallic-blue, and played music) I'm more convinced of this then ever.

I guess I would need to have the ability to build a portable MP3 player to make myself truly happy (like most of the computers our household has ever had). I don't see that happening anytime soon...


Chat, Instant Messaging, and Women

Okay. I lived when BBS's ruled the world. I then ran one of the most successful systems in Florida. All that time, I was never a big "chat" person.

Now for some odd reason, I am finding myself overwhelmed with bizarro "women" who want to chat with me, the divorced man with children.

About 60% of these women are from Africa (if their profiles are to be trusted). Some of them want me to smuggle goods into the country for them, and send them money, and fly them to meet (and live!) with me.

The other 40% are women in the United States, Canada and the UK. They just want to chat and talk about things like what I do for a living, what I enjoy, what I think about them (who I don't know from a 72 year old man across the way that I've never met) and what interests me sexually.

What the hell?

I know I live in America; land of opportunity; land of "find the technicality" to bypass every rule setup; land of movies and money. But what, in all of this, would make me these people's interest? I refuse to believe that 90% of these people are serious (or that most of them are at ALL what they claim to me, including their gender), but that pessimistic attitude means that when I "toy" with these people online (to make it interesting) I am probably ALSO screwing up a possible chat with someone worthwhile.

Sometimes I simply state, the moment the window pops up "no, thank you" and ignore further texts from them.

Sometimes I decide (based on their typing patterns, which 95% of the time is all lower case and "bad english") to play the part of the oh-so-polite man who loves this moment of sharing. Other times I decide that since they're calling me "luv" and "sweety" and other such terms of familiarity (despite having known me for 37 seconds at the time) that it's time to see how far they are willing to chat. It gets rather graphic sometimes (and frankly, I'd be highly embarassed if any of these chats in particular were ever tied back to me by someone I know).

Oh well. I just thought I'd voice my feelings on this. To all you african women out there looking for a man in the US to help you smuggle diamonds (and yourself) to America... I'm not interested.


MOVIE: Batman Begins

My oldest daughter and I viewed Batman Begins this afternoon (she had seen it previously). I was not very enthusiastic about seeing this movie because the commercials for it did nothing to enthuse me - they were very plain, very understated.

Fortunately, the movie itself was very good! I was happy to see the new take on the Batman franchise (and despite the fact that some people think it ties into the four Batman movies starting with Michael Keaton's first one, it does not - though I'm sure if they wanted to, they could suddenly decide to make it do so later - let's hope not).

One bad moment: Batman saying "excuse me" to a couple of criminals when he blows out the wall of their cell to make way to his next destination. Very out of character for this movie.

One awesome moment: Rachel (Bruce Wayne's childhood friend) knocking back Scarecrow with a taser on her own. Oh yeah. ;-)

One funny moment: Batman asking Seargent Gordon if he can drive a stick (while handing him the keys to the "car").


Family "Value"

( entry deleted )

THEATER: Aladdin Jr. (Seaside Music Theater)

The whole family went to see Aladdin Jr. today. Being primarly a production aimed at kids, I did not expect anything supremely "awesome", but was pleasantly surprised.

The actors very professional and performed their parts well. Genie was especially entertaining (as makes sense given the storyline, which is driven about 80% from the Disney movie of a few years ago). The performances of the "Carpet" and "Iago" were both entertaining and executed rather smartly (I fully expected "Iago" to be someone with a bird mask on; this was not the case -- it was actually a slightly oversized parrot-puppet played by a person shrouded in black who controlled the character onstage, as was the "Carpet" played by two people the same way).

It was well worth the very low price required. In some ways, better than the last "younger audience" play we saw at SMT a few years ago -- School House Rock. It's nice to have a place to enjoy the arts locally.

MOVIE: Mr. And Mrs. Smith

This evening, I trekked to Ormond Beach to see Mr. And Mrs. Smith (starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie). It was worth the trek! It "seemed" to start slow, but in truth it was part of the storyline that it worked out that way. The musical sequences (i.e., Pitt and Jolie kicking people's collective butts while the music was at the forefront) pushed it along nicely.

I never really thought Jolie was that attractive before. I'm... feeling a little differently now. ;)

Next up will probably be Batman Begins. I'm not thinking this will be a "big smash" in my personal book, but we'll see next week...


BBS: The Documentary

I received my "BBS: The Documentary" DVD set today!     (link)

Unfortunately, two of the three DVDs will not play.   Tony = Sad     :-(

The second disc has been informative and seems well put together. I am looking forward (I'm assuming) to replacement DVDs for the 1st and 3rd discs.


MOVIE: Madagascar

The kids (minus Amanda, who was out playing in the water today) wanted to go see the movie Madagascar today, so we did. I was pleasantly surprised. It was enjoyable, and didn't have any blatant sexual or otherwise inappropriate overtones that so many "kids' movies" have these days.


Memory, Dreams, et al

Memories and Dreams interact on a disturbing level for me many times...

Yesterday I saw several references to someone special to me, and I spent my night having very detailed, very odd dreams involving our respective "lives".

People swimming and pretending not to see each other (in an adolescent way, really)

These people's skin having a water-like texture to it (almost like they were MADE of water)

Comments made that were just bizarre or at least very detailed, and waking up verrrrrry slowly while this is all happening (from what I understand, you remember the dreams usually that you have closest to the time you wake up anyway)

The last part especially bugs me, because when this happens, there is that moment of transition where your brain is trying to clarify reality versus what's just been made up inside. Sheesh!

I wish you could videotape these things and watch them later (some of them over and over again). I wish I could share them with specific people who they pertain to as well. In some cases, that's simply "not appropriate" right now; in others, it would probably scare them away.

Does anyone else every encounter this kind of craziness??


Interesting Journal

I found this "blog" during a random search for keywords tonight. It is nobody I know. It just stuck out.

The blog is here.

Seaside Music Theater (Summer 2005)

I'm working on tickets to three performances at this year's summer season at Daytona Beach Seaside Music Theater (this is posted mainly for friends of the family who may be coming here to find out the possible dates in case they are joining us).

These are the dates that our family is available and which I am going to shoot for. Final dates will be posted ASAP.

Aida (cost appx $31-38 adult, possibly $15 students)
  • Sat June 11 8pm
  • Sat June 18 8pm
  • Sun June 19 2pm
  • Sat June 25 2pm
  • Sat June 25 8pm
Cats (cost appx $36-43 adult, possibly $20 students)
  • Sat July 23 8pm
  • Sat July 30 2pm
  • Sat Aug 13 8pm
Aladdin Jr. (cost $10 adult, $7 under 18 years old)
  • Sat June 11 10am
  • Sat Aug 13 10am

I should have looked into this 3 weeks ago, unfortunately. I can only hope for good seating at this point.


MOVIE: The Longest Yard

The kids and I were bored after the barbecue, so we headed to the Port Orange 6 Theatre and saw THE LONGEST YARD. It was good! We thoroughly enjoyed it. As long as you can believe Adam Sandler playing a quarterback in a football game, the rest comes easily. :-)


Memorial Day Festivities

Happy Memorial Day to all. We will be eating and making merry as much as possible here at the Malena household.


Bill Gates' Charity and XBox 360

A level of respect I had for Bill Gates (yes, Locutus of Microsoft, the all-father of so-called software monopolies) after reading the latest article about him and his charity.

You can see the article here to learn more about what's happening.

I anticipate that Bill might soon decide "excuse me, yeah, I think I'll take over this World Health Organization thing you have going so that I know it's being done right," And frankly, it will probably end up better off when that happens. Let Ballmer do the Microsoft-thing.

...and yes. I will be purchasing an XBox 360, of course. That ended my 2-year-long thought of creating a media center PC for my home - no need to now that the 360 will do what the XBox opened the door to.


School's out

Today is the day.

School ends. And I end up with four kids relying on me to keep them UNbored all summer.

I've got July covered (trip to California) but not much beyond that yet.

The girls will probably work a lot (money money money). Perhaps I can get Anthony into some kind of job(?). I'm not sure if that's logically possible at age 14 in this state (Florida).

There are free movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at two separate theatres. And there's always the YMCA membership that we have which is not used "as much" as we'd like.


ROM Spaceknight

I registered my latest pet domain: ROM Spaceknight dot com

You probably don't know who or what he is. You will soon.


Water... lots of water...

So yesterday, the water-connection to the refrigerator decided that it didn't LIKE the refrigerator any more, so it disconnected itself. Four to six hours later, when my daughter got home, she called me to inform me of the inch of water on the bottom floor of the house.

In a meager attempt to think positive instead of negatively, I will say "thank God that we have hardwood laminate flooring instead of carpet in our house" (the stairs don't count).

Several hours of wet-dry vacuuming later, the water is gone (that which I can see, at least). My muscles, not used much in the past month due to my recent hospitalization, are screaming at me. The floor is NOT clean as some might imagine after being wet and then vacuumed -- it's quite dirty and now needs to be cleaned more than ever.

"Calgon, take me away..."


MOVIE: Star Wars - Revenge Of The Sith

The kids and I decided we are going to bow to the advertising pressure and go see ST:ROTS on opening day (which means Thursday, May 19th at 12:01am in the morning). It should be fun. Tickets are already purchased.

The soundtrack to this movie is spectacular (John Williams outdoing John Williams yet again).


Prisms, Birthdays and Banquets, oh my

PRISM: Thursday (May 12) was Christopher's birthday (though we are celebrating it today here at home) but was also the day of the Spruce Creek High School Prism Concert for 2005. All of the performing arts groups get together and put on various solos and groups. Pics are on my website under the Pictures link as usual. It was a great evening.

BIRTHDAY: Chris turns twelve this week. We have some of his friends coming over today to eat, drink and be merry. Pics should be going up in a day or two.

BANQUET: The Spruce Creek Year-End Awards Banquet is tonight. I will be sporting a spiffy new outfit, alongside my well-dressed daughters. It takes place at the Daytona 500 Club (infield at the Daytona International Speedway).


G-Dawg (aka Bill Gates)

I browsed a few "blogs" tonight (gawd I hate that term) and found a REALLY funny pict that someone captured and put a caption to. It.. is.. hilarious!! Visit it here.


Distributing Vast Sums Of Money

I have been given power-of-attorney by an individual to distribute a large sum of money to less privileged people. This should be interesting. I wonder if the $2 million I won in a foreign lottery is ever going to arrive? That was about 2 years ago now...


MOVIE: Kung Fu and Hitchhiking

Tonight, we go to see KUNG FU HUSTLE. It looks like it will be funny. Laughter would be good after ten plus days in the hospital...

This weekend, we go stick our thumbs out and see THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. I understand that, as with any great [series of] book[s], this has been altered heavily from the original texts (but then again, H2G2 itself was modified and added to over the years, especially in the forms of the BBC mini-series and the radio plays). If it's even half of what Douglas Adams originally created, it should be good.



Got to spend ten days in the hospital (I just arrived home an hour or two ago). This was fun. In a few weeks, I should have a properly-usable foot again, as well.

Life is grand sometimes.



Anyone have any clue why Leonardo da Vinci was featured on Google today? It's not his birthday... so...?


Wide world of possibilities

Somehow, when moving from my personally-hosted journal to, I got caught up in the stupidity of other people who I no longer have much association with, so I'm ending that now.

There's a wide world of possibilities out there, waiting for me and for my children. I can't want to experience some of them... :-)


Moving to a hosted journal finally

Well, I have finally decided to go ahead and use a hosted journal mechanism (aka "Blog"). I have had journals online since 1999, and this will be the first time I am using something other than my own hosted website to store them. (most recent journal at my family website here, while previously at my romantically-based site here)

We'll see how this goes...