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


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.