Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fail Video Game Bin Laden VS USA Hand Held Toy Review by Mike Mozart of JeepersMedia

Something totally distasteful for the Holidays. You really can not underestimate bad taste and the desire to make a buck.

I'll try to post something a bit more cheerful in the next couple of days, but I had to share this.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Guess what I got for my birthday present? Kristina surprised me with this yesterday, when Donna and I went over to help with Christmas decorating. First stop was for bagels, of course, and then later to pick up ornaments, lights and finally a six foot tree from Lowe's. The rest of the afternoon consisted of getting rid of the old plastic tree and decorating the new 'live' one. Finally, we all went out for sushi. A fine evening, but I should know better than to let The Child talk me into drinking two Saki Bombs. Glad Donna was as the designated driver. :-)

Oh, if you have to ask what the gift is, you really don't know me or my favorite movie very well.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Still trying to get things settled after our cruise. Some laundry remains to be done and the suitcases put back into storage. Possibly some Christmas decorations will be put up and the holiday cards just about ready to be sent out. If you haven't gotten yours yet, that's the reason. Unless, of course, we have decided NOT to send one to you since you haven't responded to our last several. You know who you are!!

Hey, is if just me (and it very well might) or is Blogger getting more and more spam replies to posts. There have been some in the past, but this past week (as I have been clearing out older e-mails) I have seen a large number of them posted to both my blogs. Some are for newer posts, but others for ones I put up months ago. The weirdest part is that most are in Chinese (or Japanese, since I can't decipher the type either way). Those in English (if you can call it that) tend to be made up mostly of links, so I expect the ones in foreign languages to be much the same. Annoying, but I can live with it. Trust me, at least they aren't downright nasty or threatening like the replies I get to my comments on YouTube. Those are some scary folks!!

Most of my regular readers tend to be on the East Coast, so I'm sure you have little sympathy for the lousy weather we are having, considering what you deal with. Still it sucks to have spend two weeks in beautiful, if sometimes very, humid, climate to get back and be faced by days of rain and cold. Okay..not cold compared to you guys, but we got rid of our heavy stuff a while ago. Actually, tempted to get out the stuff I bought in Alaska last year! Brrrr...

Monday, December 07, 2009

Baby did seem to survive her ordeal, but the rug and our comforter may never be the same!

Seriously, once Donna and I have a chance to fully unpack and get some domestic stuff done, I plan to download some of the photos I took during the cruise. Some of them look okay, viewed in the tiny view screen of the camera but I'm hoping the look pretty cool seen larger. I especially hope those I took of the crocodiles and the cliff divers come out okay. I really need to make the close-up of that Big Daddy croc my wallpaper at work! :-)

So tell me, did anything of note happen while we were away? Watching CNN International (about the only news you can get via the ship's TV) it appears that there were only four major stories. FIFA World Cup 2010 is being played in South Africa; Amanda Cox was found guilty (became the top story late in the cruise); Venice and much of England seem to be underwater and Tiger Woods appears to have had an accident. That pretty much it?

More about the cruise and other things when I have a chance! Glad to be back, even though we didn't expect the cold and rain. Brrr!! Two weeks of 80-90 degree weather can spoil a guy!

Friday, November 20, 2009

We're off tomorrow for Miami where we will stay overnight at the Embassy Suites. Then on Sunday we will board the Celebrity Constellation. Our home-away-from-home for the next fourteen days. This will be our longest cruise, so far. The previous one, also on Celebrity, was a mere 10-day Caribbean cruise.

Unfortunately, the shore excursion we had booked for Costa Rica was cancelled, so now we're looking for something similar. I was pretty psyched to be taking a boat down a river known for its large population of crocodiles. I mean, who wouldn't be?

We've decided to take along out laptop this time, since we aren't going to be able to use our cellphone most of the time. We hope to be checking our e-mail and I may be posting a bit on my Facebook account just to let folks know we're still safe.

This will be, more than likely, the last posting I do here until I return (Dec.6th), so I want to wish you all a very, Happy Thanksgiving! Take care!

Friday, November 06, 2009

There really isn't anything I can say about the shootings yesterday at Fort Hood and the one that took place in Orlando,Florida earlier today. One may turn out to be a political/religious action and the other the work of a former employee. I'll leave these to greater minds than mine. I will say however, that I would not be surprised if the attack yesterday did not in some way or other influence what happened today. The shooter in Florida was laid-off two years ago, his anger continued to build and it's possible that when he heard about the shooting on the Army base it gave him that 'final push' into an action he may have been contemplating already. I probably should not attempt to psychoanalyze the guy, but it is a possibility.

Sorry, to get all heavy but I can't help thinking about these two very, tragic situationns.

Hug your loved ones or get in touch, if they are far away. You never know what life is going to present to you. Peace!

Monday, November 02, 2009

The Chaput Duo did okay Bingo-wise this past weekend. Donna and I both hit for some nice jackpots. Sometimes the addiction pays off and other times not so much. :-)

To be honest not much else to report on at Chez Chaput. We continue to get things ironed, packed and readied for the cruise in a few weeks. Everything else is pretty much status quo, which is probably a good thing in today's world. The filters are back up at work, so while I can blog the Twitter & Facebook accounts are out of reach. The thing that is really ticking me off though is that I seem to be having trouble with Shelfari, where I actually get to discuss books and such.

Later, folks!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Time flies when you're having fun!
Just posted some comic book reviews over at Shot's Shack and noticed that in about a month I will have been doing SS for five years. In fact, I've been doing this blog since January of 2003, so we are coming up on the seven year mark just after the New Year. Man, where has the time gone?

Back then I had a couple of friends who had started blogging so decided to give it a try myself. To be honest I didn't know at the time if I would be sticking to it, and certainly would not have known that it would eventually morph into two distinct blogs. Not that I post there very often any more but I also contribute on occasion to a third blog, Poplitiko , that always has some nice stuff from much better writers.

Nothing to add or promote, as you can tell but was just sort of surprised by how long I'd been doing this kind of thing. In fact, to make this thing even scarier, i believe that next year will mark the 30th anniversary of my very first zine and my entrance into serious fandom. Somewhere, I think, I still have a copy of PART SHOT (or Cursed Earth, I can't remember which came first) lying around. I should dig it up and see if I was better back then. :-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

WWII Vet talks about Gay Marriage

I know I can be pretty cynical, but this moved me. I hope that you will watch it, think about it and share it.

Have a good day and hug the person you love.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Letter to America

Just some things to think about. I may be posting the second part after watching it myself.

Contact your members of Congress! We need a public option and we need it now!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I figured with the 'Preview Night' session already sold-out for next year's San Diego Comic-con I better not wait any longer to register. At this rate the four-day passes will be sold out easily by the end of the year, if not sooner. It's amazing how quickly this thing gets booked and it continues to attract more folks each year. It really is become almost too big the price of admission has increased to $100 for the four-days. Not including what you have to shell out for hotel rooms it may be becoming too much to attend every year, unless you are a pro.

Not saying that I didn't have a good time, since I did and it was great seeing folks I have not seen in a year or in some cases over a decade. Fingers crossed that a few other people I have not seen in a while can actually attend. I'm hoping that a former pro may be making an appearance and we'll have a chance to chat. There were also a couple of people that I wanted to see, but missed for one reason or another.

You know that I'll be talking more about SDCC, especially next year as it gets closer. Just wanted to give a head's up to the couple of folks I know who do read this and also attend. Of course, this year I'm on both Facebook & Twitter so will try to be keeping up with what is going on while it is still news.

On another topic: I do hate driving in the rain, especially during that first rainfall where the roads are slick.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Just want to thank all my "friends" who have called, e-mailed and posted on my Facebook account the last few days. I would never have known the score of any of those games if it hadn't been for you all letting me know. *sigh* When does Spring Training start?

Not sure if I'll be watching any of the WS games or not. Possibly if the Angels are playing, since I have a lot of friends out here who are fans. Of course, if the Yankees are playing it would be necessary to watch, just to root against them. :-)

We bought another large, suitcase yesterday for our cruise. No way could we get fourteen days worth of stuff in just two, even with a garment bag for my suits and Donna's gowns. We were going to borrow a bag from Kristina, but then she let us know that she'd be heading off to New Zealand for one of the weeks we'll be away. Quite a world traveler, that gal!

Friday, October 09, 2009

I think most of us were surprised to wake up this morning and find that President Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Good for him! I admit that it may be a bit premature for the committee to have done so, but anything that will piss off the GOP, the Right and Mainstream Media can't be all bad. :-)

Matt Lauer, on the Today Show, asked the unbiased David Gregory if "he didn't get the award simply because he was not George Bush". Possible, but what one might consider leading. Gregory, who seems to have faded since Todd the Toad has taken up sitting under the rock at the White House, made it clear that we had to keep in mind that the Nobel Committee was a "Left-leaning, Euro-centric organization." Well put, sir! Noted Europeans such as Martti Ahtisaari, Wangari Maathai and that gang of Leftists Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, and Yitzhak Rabin all prove Mr. Gregory's brilliant analysis once again.

So okay, I did wake up in a pissy mood this morning. What of it? Did you see that game last night? WHAT GAME!!!?!?!?! You know damn well what game, now just leave me alone!!

Oh..have a nice weekend...grumble, grumble...grubs again...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Republicans Oppose Al Franken's Law on Protecting Victims of Gang Rape

This is so disgusting it doesn't need any additional comment from me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

As much as I enjoy playing Bingo a lot of the fun depends on the hall and the callers. Donna and I are regulars at the Irvine Saturday night event, but decided to give the new one in Hawaiian Gardens a try.

Called The Bingo Club, the new building is an improvement over the previous hall, near the casino, according to everybody who used to go there. It's clean with a separate closed-in section for smokers, so you don't have to breath in second-hand as you do in some halls. They also have a decent food & beverage stand, with free coffee, tea, water & ice. Unlike most halls, the play is continuous for ten hours or more. Rather than having the typical buy-in you buy each game for a dollar, by leaving a bill on the side for the next as you play the current game.

Anybody familiar with what is sometimes called 'speed bingo' will have a general idea of how the callers operate and how quickly each game progresses. Donna and I, along with our friend Jean, were there for around two and a half hours, during which over fifty games (plus some special pull-tab games) were called. I gave up after #40 and the ladies played another ten. After that we were all wiped out and it was time to head home. I think we'll be sticking to a more normally paced games for a while.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mirror: The Truth Behind Public Option

People have to know the truth! We can still hope and work for this. Contact your representatives. E-mail and call them. Tell them that should they fail to support a 'public option' plan you will not support THEM in the next election.

Progressives and people who desire a true alternative to the big insurance companies have to do something or we get shafted again.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Something Is Really Wrong w/ Our Educational System

The sad thing is that I am confronted almost daily by not only students, but adults who do not have a general understanding of basic things. I know that I have been accused of being an educational snob, but COME ON!!!

One of the amusing things, if you think about it, is that if Leno did a segment of his "Jay Walking" bit in his studio audience I don't know how many would still be laughing.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Been a productive week and it's not over yet!

We renewed our lease, so we'll be staying in Ladera Ranch for the foreseeable future. Donna also made the final payment on the cruise, so all we have to do now is start getting our clothes and sundries together over the next couple of months. Also, decide what we'll be doing with Babie while we're gone.

The forecasters are predicting another hot spell, or a continuation of Summer. Not a bad thing, but we continue to need rain and that isn't coming our way. As much as I hate driving in bad weather, I'd be willing to put up with it for a few days if it would ease the chances of more fires.

I know I promised not to discuss politics and the like, but the way things are going I think you can expect me to start ranting over the next couple of weeks. Not that I know what I'm talking about (When has that stopped me before?), but I do love bitching and moaning. :-)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The good news is that my eyes have not gotten worse and I still do not have to have surgery for my cataracts. The bad news, not a big deal except to me, is that I have to start using eye drops at night as my eyes are not producing enough moisture. If you know you know that I hate eye drops or even eye wash. The big reason I would never consider contacts is the mere thought of sticking something into my eye makes me squeamish. No way!

The 'walk-in' clinic was out of the flu shot, so I'm going to have to try later this week when a limited number will be available at City Hall for city workers. According to the workers at the clinic they company supplying the vaccine had to stop production for some reason. I probably don't even want to know!

Anybody else happen to watch the first Jay Leno Show last night? Nothing special, to be honest. Jay being Jay and pretty much doing the Tonight Show under another name. It does look odd to have Jay sitting in a chair minus a desk, at least for interviews. Nice seeing Jay and Jerry having a good time, but other than that I don't think the show is something I'd tune in to see every night.

Friday, September 11, 2009

It seems impossible that is has been eight years since 9-11 took place. They said at the time that everything had changed, but perhaps not as we had thought at the time. I'm sure everybody else will have comments about where they were when they heard the news and what they did for the next several days. I've already spoken about much of that here so there is no need to repeat myself.

I turned on the television this morning to see several events taking place around the country and heard of others on the radio during my commute. As I arrived at work the school directly across the street from the Library was holding a memorial ceremony with the students standing beneath and around the flagpole. I'm sure tonight there will be more televised coverage.

Me, I'm just going to take a few moments to remember. Wondering again, if some of the people I worked with at the WTC were among those killed or injured. Unlikely since I had worked there in '86, but not impossible. Family members did lose friends and co-workers that day, so we grieve for them as well.

Despite all the talk going on about who is American and who is not; who is a 'patriot' and who is not; let us remember that for one day we really were united. On 9/12 it did change and we can't go back.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sunday, September 06, 2009

So Van Jones has to resign because of past affiliations and his signature on petitions. Schools around the country are preventing their students from hearing the President of the United States speak on education. The health care reform debate has become one about 'death panels' and the government killing 'granny'. Wackos are carrying loaded weapons to city hall meetings and there are apparently millions of people who believe that Barack Obama is not an American citizen. I have had enough of this. I can no longer watch the news or read a newspaper without getting upset. The campaign last year should have been enough notice to me that should the Democrats win the right-wing in this country was going to go on a rampage.

I quit! I'm dropping all the political sites from this blog and plan to write only about personal things that affect me, Donna and Kristina. I'll talk about the weather, fires, earthquakes and our vacations, but no more about politics. I'm sick and tired of it.

Let somebody else care from this point on!.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

With Hurricane Jimena moving up Baja it's probably a good thing we didn't make plans for another weekend cruise. It was pretty tempting with a four-day weekend, but with the 14-day Panama Canal trip coming up I think that will fulfill our cruise quota for the year.

The day-by-day changes in the filtering system have not only blocked Facebook & Twitter, but KINGDOM OF LOATHING (for 'violence', no less). LOL! Yeah, keep folks away from stick figures with swords fighting mutant goldfish, but I can get into REQUIEM where realistic & semi-naked Sims-like elves and wizards kill each other. Brilliant!! (Btw, I don't play REQUIEM, but was curious to see if I could go there when I found KOL blocked.)

We are talking about moving again, but it hasn't gone much further than a discussion. Our lease is up at the end of October, so we do have a month or so to decide. For those keeping track or planning a visit I'll let you know if we pack up and change locations.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I know I've mentioned this before, but once the wildfires start blazing out here I'm reminded of the book, Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the imagination of disaster by Mike Davis. My fellow librarian, Joe Grosso, recommended the book back when we were first considering the move here. Even though the book is eleven years old at this point, it is still relevant.

The fires are still way north of us, but you can see the plumes of smoke as you drive around much of The OC. The big fear is that it will overrun the transmission towers near the Mount Wilson Observatory and cause havoc with the television & radio stations. I've heard from The Child that a number of Cox Communication customers are having problems with their phones, but the company hesitates to send work crews into the areas already being evacuated.

Speaking of Cox, we discovered yesterday that what we thought was one of our televisions going, was in fact caused by the cable box hooked up to the bedroom TV. Donna is going to be calling for a serviceman to come out. Have to be able to watch Nancy Grace and the local 11:00pm news every night! Plus, falling asleep after Letterman's Top Ten has become a Chez Chaput tradition.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Since getting Facebook & Twitter accounts I can't figure out what to update first. I've all but forgotten the MySpace page, since almost everybody I was 'Friends' with there are also on the other social networks. I'm trying to figure out if what I post in one account is relevant or makes sense in the other. There isn't a total overlap yet. Twitter seems to have many of my comics related friends or folks I have met via YouTube, etc. Facebook is where my family and Donna's are keeping tabs on us, so immediate stuff seems to fit there. It's nice to still have my blogs, and I'll be trying to post a bit more, since it allows me to rant on for a longer time. :-)

FYI, the fires raging out here are much further north, so you shouldn't worry about us. We're following the reports, of course, since the dry,windy weather continues and it's not unlikely that a fire could start somewhere in the region. We have already had a couple in the area, but they were quickly brought under control. The 'emergency' kits we have prepared, are not just in case of earthquakes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I was sad, but not surprised to hear of the passing of Ted Kennedy last evening. The morning news shows are filled with stories about his life & legacy. Unfortunately, you can't escape the tragedy of Chappaquiddick or the mark it left on Kennedy's career. Little doubt he would have been President, had the accident never happened. It will be interesting to see if the folks at Fox can talk about anything but that, or to glory that a "rich, socialist" is no longer in the Senate. I'm sure that Rushbo, Bill-o and Beckenstein will have a field day bashing the man, his brothers and family. In their minds, and I'm sure among a certain element in the GOP, this could not have happened at a better time for them.

Just got some bad news about a cut in a service we provide here at the Library. One of the sponsors is dropping their support and we are unable to come up with that money ourselves. It is unfortunate that something we have to assist job seekers, in these times, is being removed because a corporation is trying to save a few bucks.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ambassadors of Harmony-2009 International Barbershop Chorus Champions

A big thank you to Mark Evanier for posting this. Watch it through, even if you are not a big 'barbershop' sound fan. Can't imagine the work that went into the final bit.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ecomomics of Healthcare

We're #1 !!! It really doesn't make sense that people are fighting this change...unless (you don't think?) they are working for the insurance companies!! Nah! can't be.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So are we all screwed on this? I mean at least those among us who would like a "public option" as part of the Health Care plan being put together in Congress. Can we actually trust (well, certainly not the Republicans!)those working on this? I mean, we still have American troops fighting two wars, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfield and that other guy from Texas (what's his name?) who was in the Oval Office not being prosecuted for 'war crimes' or even serving time for other illegal activities. What the hell did I vote for last year, if not some action on all those fronts? It is beginning to appear that those folks who said I was wasting my vote on Democrats, might have been right after all. I'm not seeing a hell of a lot of difference, to be honest.

On a more personal side, you can check me out on Twitter, if you like. You can also find both Donna & me (with seperate accounts) on Facebook, where we are currently keeping track of friends and family back east. I have heard that there may be other folks I haven't been in touch with lurking about on one or the other, so please feel free to "follow" or become my Friend on either of those networks. No grudges held on my part!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Has Obama Been Bought By Big Pharma?

Might be time for a change again! The NYT has been wrong before and so has the Huffington Post. Maybe we do need a "REAL" third/alternative party if we can't trust the Democrats. (I've never trusted the Republicans!)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

I find it interesting how the networks continue to give airtime to certain right-wing columnists and fringe wackjobs. Once you start comparing Obama to Hitler and screaming about 'death panels' it's time for the folks in charge to turn off the cameras and show those folks the door. From past experience in fandom (online & in print) it was at the point that one side of an argument or the other started saying "Hitler" that it was time for the moderators to close things down.

It's also apparent that the Right can say and do just about anything and the mainstream media finds it worth covering. On the other hand, the protests against the Patriot Act, the war in Iraq and other things that happened the previous eight years, really didn't amount to anything newsworthy.

I'm trying not to get all worked up about this, but I fear that there will be some real violence at one of these 'town hall' meetings. Not that Rush, Beck or Bill-o have instigated anything, mind you. These are just "average Americans" with no agenda speaking their minds.

Enjoy our new socialist state, fellow-travelers! :-)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I really hope I'm not starting to come down with something. Several of my co-workers called in sick today. Going from the heat outside into & out of air-conditioning doesn't help things. I suppose if I didn't catch anything in the petri dish that is the San Diego Comic-con I might yet escape a virus.

For those curious, we didn't feel anything from the two quakes in the Gulf of California yesterday. We had a couple of folks phone to ask, but all's well. The most recent small fires were also south & west of Ladera Ranch, so those weren't a problem either. On the other hand, the annual infestation of ants has begun, this time limited to the bathroom so far. We'll let the folks in the office know and keep an eye on Babie's water & food dishes. She seems happy to just sit and watch as they travel the tiles. Mighty huntress, that she is!

2009 has certainly been speeding by and we are already trying to see what we'll be doing for New Year's Eve. Of course, that's assuming I'm not dragged down by crocodiles during the boat trip I have planned on our Panama Canal cruise. The Tarcoles River in Costa Rica is noted for a large colony of crocs. Donna says I can have the riverside seat. "Lean over for a close-up, dear!" :-)

Not much else to add for now. I'll try to start posting again a bit more frequently, but tend to hit Facebook & Twitter more often when I can.

Friday, July 31, 2009

So okay, the Beer Summit is over, Obama's poll ratings are down and health care seems to be doomed from Day One. Yeah, we really did change things last November, didn't we?

Between the Birthers and the Blue Dog Democrats, there really hasn't been much of a chance for this administration to get decent coverage. We expected this type of thing from the mainstream GOP, but the wackos and back-stabbing BDs came as a surprise to me.

I'm taking a short break from reading much about the political situation and hiding my head in SD for a few days seemed to help. Like going to an alternate world where these things don't matter and the only thing you have to worry about is getting from the Exhibit floor up to Ballroom 6 in time, with a stop off at Starbucks or Mrs. Fields along the way. I have more to say about the convention and some photos of other fanboys over at Shot's Shack, if you are interested.

That's it for now!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Bad Guys Launch Coordinated Attack on Healthcare

The folks at The Young Turks nail this! I don't agree with everything Cenk has to say, but it doesn't accept the B.S.

Check it out!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Well, we had a nice fairly quiet weekend. It has been hot out here and poor Kristina's A/C isn't working, so she stayed with us a couple of nights. That didn't keep Donna and me from hitting Bingo on Saturday, where I won $250. Putting part of that towards my ComicCon funds. :-)

Speaking of San Diego, Dan is flying in on Wednesday and we almost had some problems, due to miscommunication. Despite the wonders of e-mail, and social networking sites you can't beat actually talking to somebody on the phone! Fortunately, the hotel was able to give us an extra night so we have our convention headquarters ready to go.

Hard to believe it's been forty years since the moon landing. While millions of people around the world were riveted to their television sets that day, this guy had no clue what was going on. When you are on board a Navy ship in the mid-Atlantic (at least when I was serving) you are pretty much out of touch with the 'real world'. I didn't know history had been made until the next day. It was probably a month or so later, back in the U.S., when I actually saw the footage for the first time. I'm sure things are much different nowadays.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Donna and I are enjoying the cruise. She's up at the casino (winning, I hope) and I decided to take a few minutes to check in.

It's kind of cool, since Donna is now a "Concierge Class" passenger. We get extra perks and even some freebies in the cabin at night. Mmmm..chocolates!

Hope your 4th has been fun and you haven't blown anything up! Catch you tomorrow, back at the Library.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

RIP: Harve Presnell (They Call the Wind Maria)

Even though the man appeared in dozens of films and television shows, this was what immediately came to mind.

My condolences to his family and friends. Also to those of Karl Malden. It's been a bad couple of weeks.

Darwin's Theory Of Evolution - A Brief History

Still alive!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

About time that the Senate race between Al Franken and Norm Coleman comes to an end. I really did expect Coleman to keep this going until 2010 at least! I don't believe that having Franken in the Senate is going to make an immediate change for the better, but I hope it keeps the GOP off balance for a while. Sadly, there are a few too many 'conservative/moderate' Dems for my taste still active and preventing real change.

We got confirmation yesterday that Carnival cruiseline is moving us off the 'waitlist' and booking us for a three-night cruise this coming weekend. This is exactly the same one we took last year at the same time. We know the ship is going to be filled with kids, but it is still nice to get away for a few days. Also, this brings us into VIP status with Carnival so we get preferred boarding, debarkation and other nice stuff. Can you believe that we have taken ten cruises since our first together in 1999? Averages to one cruise per year and we have another booked for our anniversary on Thanksgiving!

It will be a week tomorrow that Michael Jackson has passed away and they have just gotten around to planning his funeral. Considering how long poor Anna Nicole and James Brown had to wait, I guess it's not all that bad.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ok, so Ol' Bernie is going to do 150yrs hardtime. Damn! I feel safer knowing this bastard is off the streets.

Seriously, I have no sympathy for this creep, but this is not going to do anything for the many people deceived by this man and his family. Why aren't his wife and children doing time or being brought up on charges? Is it possible they knew nothing about what was done? I highly doubt it! Plus, I'm not at all buying those photos of the Mrs. riding the subway. You know that the family has millions stashed in dozens of off-shore accounts where they can get their hands on it after the spotlight fades.

Hmmm...there have been American forces killed and injured the past weekend in Iraq & Afghanistan. There has been a coup in Honduras. Michael Jackson remains the top story in both national and local news. Anybody surprised?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Not a good deal I can add to everything that has already been said about Michael Jackson. For all the jokes about his appearance, his dangling babies and the court case, I believe that eventually it will be his music that will be his legacy.

I think that in twenty years kids will view Jackson much as today's youth view Elvis. He is the guy their parents always talk about, they will hear his music and perhaps see his videos on whatever passes for 'golden oldie' stations (on radio, television and the Interwebs). Maybe they will even see one of those MJ impersonators you'll find in Vegas (with a choice of the Jackson Five Micheal, the 'Billie Jean' Michael and the weird one with the glove and military uniforms).

I initially found myself at a loss when I saw how emotional his fans were, but I can remember similar crowds for Elvis and John Lennon. For me, of course, it was Lennon's death that effected me. I sympathize with his fans and my condolences go out to his family and his children.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bill Maher: Democrats Are the New Republicans

There is not much I can add to this. I do think Maher can be a smug SOB at times, but he f**king nails it!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

We're not completely happy with either the Democratic congress or the Obama administration. I don't think I'll get any arguement from those regular readers out there. I still don't regret my November votes, but do wonder how I'll feel this time next year.

Why do we still have "Don't ask, don't tell"? Why is the White House blocking the release of the abuse photos? Where is the progressive/liberal agenda this administration and this congress was supposedly going to bring? I'm not seeing it!

It's hard to believe that Donna and I have been together for about 10 years now. We'll be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in November, taking a cruise naturally. So much has happened to us in that time, it seems like we have known each other for far longer. Not sure how she feels, but for me she is the best thing that ever happened in my life.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

As much as I love living in California, the whole "June Gloom" phenomenon we go through each year can be a real drag. Grey clouds and chilly days are not what I signed up for when I moved here. I'm more the sunshine and sitting in the swimming pool kind of guy. Plus the mild humidity is making an old wound in my left-hand hurt like hell. One of the problems of getting old, I guess. :-)

Donna and I finally decided to check out another of the local casinos yesterday. We took a bus (provided free by the casino) down towards San Diego to the Valley View Casino. Not up to what you see in Vegas or Atlantic City, but still nice enough. It actually reminds me of the Mohegan Sun Casino, back in Connecticut, before that place grew so big. VV is actually expanding, adding a hotel and some other venues around the property. Guess not everybody is hurting in the current economy, huh?

Unlike some of the other casinos, there aren't a lot of table games at VV. There is a separate room for Poker and the usual other games, but only one or two tables each and you can actually miss them among all the slot machines.

Speaking of which, I can't remember every seeing so many Penny slots! Generally, you will have a couple dozen and you'll find folks standing around hoping to find a spot, but VV has hundreds. They also have a nice non-smoking casino, separate from the main floor. The free lattes and self-serve soft drink areas also make the place very friendly. Since it was our first trip and we got Player's Cards, we had a free buffet and I highly recommend it, even if you have to pay. Everything was tasty and they have a really good dessert section!

Considering how much we 'donated' I do think that we'll be sticking to Bingo for a while. Since I got chosen as "Bingo Player of the Month" for June, I also don't have to pay for my buy-in, so that makes the usual Saturday night games even more fun.

Hope that you are all enjoying things as much as we are! Take care!!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Donna and I spent the weekend playing Bingo, almost literally doing little else. We played at our usual site in Irvine on Saturday night, then hit the 'marathon' at the Elks Lodge in Mission Viejo for 8+ hours. Neither one of us one, but that's not the point, is it? :-)

My sister, Pam, finds the fact that I'm "one of those guys" pretty funny. This coming from a gal who deals craps & high-stake poker at a casino for a living! That's the thing that I'll never get over.

Not much else going on here, except that the fire season seems to be getting off to a start, thanks to several lightning strikes last week. One was about ten miles from our place, but nothing closer or very large yet. This is the third year of drought and things could easily become very nasty, very quick. Fingers crossed as they are each year!

Oh, and a heads up to all of you. As my 59th birthday approaches (12/13) I have found myself thinking of my own mortality quite a bit. Be ready for fits of depression and lots of nostaligic journeys this year.

Have a good week!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Vote "Prop C" - to make things Clear

I think we should all get behind this!

Bunny Skates

If you have to ask you don't know me very well!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I don't know how long this is going to last, but the block seems to be off Blogger at work. Hopefully, I can drop by on breaks or lunch and try to post a bit more often.

I have nothing of note to add to my earlier comments, but did want to take advantage of this while I could.

Oh! What the Hell are Donna and I supposed to do with our Saturns now? They have closed three dealerships in the area and it is going to be a bitch to bring them in for scheduled maintenance. *sigh*

Quick recommendation of John Dean's CONSERVATIVES WITHOUT CONSCIENCE. I'm listening to it on audio and find the history of the Conservative philosophy fascinating. Also, Dean had some great insight into how the current crop of Republicans differ from 'real' Conservatives of an earlier generation. If the subject interests you you should check it out, even though it is dated by a few years.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The past month things have been hectic around here, with visiting family & friends from back east. It was nice serving as hosts to first Fran and then Donna's sister, Marilyn, and her husband Doug, along with the 3yr old twins, Megan & Daniel. Visits to Disneyland and Sea World (neither of which I have seen for more then 15 yrs) and countless local restaurants. For the most part the weather has been good, with the only disappointment being that it rained yesterday, so a final trip to a local water park had to be cancelled. The next month or so might be quiet, with my trip to the San Diego Comicon coming up the end of July.

Things here at the Library are in flux, with more possible budget cuts coming down from the state & city. We'll have to see what the money being taken by Da Arnold will do to an already tight fiscal plan. Days of service may be cut, our book budget has already been slashed over 50% and the hiring freeze continues, with several positions unfilled for over six months. Due to negotiations with the city, the bargaining units have been able to hold off layoffs.

We're on a waiting list for a possible three-day cruise in July also, but won't know about that for a few weeks at least.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Biden warns Swine Flu not over yet

I"m going to try some of this. What could go wrong?

I wish we had basements here in the OC!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Things remain quiet here, especially since our New York visitor has departed.
Only kidding, Fran!

It really was nice to have Fran out here for a week and I know Donna was especially happy to have her BFF out here. We're hoping to head back east for the Thanksgiving holidays, so we'll be seeing her and other Brooklynites before the year ends. It will also be good to drop by and visit with my sisters, cousins and my best friend, Gerry & his family at the same time.

Fran and I caught X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE yesterday in Mission Viejo, since Donna was working and has no interest in super-hero movies anyway. I was planning to go myself and Fran said that she probably had nobody in Brooklyn who she could go with, so we caught the matinee. Plus I still had a couple of free passes, that I had so it made things even better.

As you can see from the posting I'm working today, which means that I'm missing FREE COMIC BOOK DAY once again. Either the industry is making things difficult or somebody in Library admin is not a comics fan!! I'll have to go to Nuclear Comics tomorrow, see if they have any remaining free stuff and check out their annual back-issue sale.

Nothing else of note to report, except that the Red Sox lost again last night and the Damned Yankees pulled out another win. Way too early in the season to start hyperventilating, I think.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and write when you can!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Waterboard Sean Hannity for Charity

I"m willing to pledge a dollar per second. Not much, but if others join in some charity might reap a benefit from Hannity's bravado.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

(The photo here was taken when I was probably six or seven years old. That's me without a shirt for some reason on the left. The kids with me are my paternal cousins (starting on my immediate right) George, Ernie(kneeling), Frances, David (warning you off with his rifle), Donna and David (more interested in something he's holding than the camera). The photo was taken at Bolduc Lane, where I spent the first 18 yrs. of my life in the house partly built by my father's father, Isreal.

Earlier this week I was contacted by my cousin George. He wrote to tell me that his father, my paternal uncle George, had passed away earlier in the day. Sadly, I don't have a lot of contact, except for occasional e-mails and holiday cards with my father's side of the family. Growing up I spent a good part of my time with those relatives on my mother's side of the family, although I always had a good time when visiting with my paternal cousins, aunts & uncles.

After my father passed away, it always sent a bit of a chill down my spine when I saw Uncle George, since he looked so much like his younger brother. I remember the first time I ran into him unexpectedly at a local mall a year or two after my Dad died. I literally stopped in my tracks and I think my mouth fell open. For a brief moment I actually thought it was my father approaching me.

I can't begin to express my sympathy for the loss to his wife, children and grandchildren. My Uncle George was one of the nicest guys I ever met, and I'm not just saying that because he was my uncle. Although I rarely saw him in the past decade, he has a place in my heart and memories that will never fade.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Something to think about if you use or view YouTube.

Friday, April 10, 2009

NOM: Gathering Storm Chasers

There are some scary people out there and one of the best weapons is humor.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Have We Reached the Tipping Point on Gun Violence?

I used to own a rifle, and carried a weapon very often while in the service. I don't have a problem with folks who own a few rifles or handguns, for hunting or target practice. Some folks might have a legitimate reason to have a weapon, store owners in some cases. Still something has to be done about how easy it is to get weapons.

Of course, we could simply ship them all down to Mexico!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Damn, this sucks not being able to post more than once a week or so. Still, I like to let folks know that I'm still around and that things are going pretty smoothly.

Donna may be starting her own business out of the house soon, but more on that as time gets closer.

Donna's BFF, Fran will be coming out in a few weeks to spend some time with us. Probably hit at least one casino and maybe a horserace track while she's out here. I know that Donna is really excited about this and I'll have to get used to waiting on two ladies to get ready again. It was SOOOOO much fun during the Alaska cruise. :-)

Guide & Scout continue to make their presence known, as they never stop chirping and singing. We actually have to cover them during supper or even when watching TV, to get them to settle down. They may be spending some time on the balcony when the weather gets warmer. Ahem...

Sums it up for me. Take care, drop me a line and let me know you are still out there...if you are!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Does it even pay, considering how seldom I post now, to get into the AIG thing? I mean everybody else has been going on for the past week or so and I imagine they'll continue. There's certainly nothing I can add that hasn't already been said by folks far wiser or far dumber (pick whichever group you think I fall into).

On the other hand, if you DO care what I think about it, I'm leaning (at least today) in the direction of allowing AIG to fade from existence. This whole 'too big to fail' bulls*** doesn't work for me anymore. If the company is that large then it should not have been allowed to become so. Since it is it must be broken down in to smaller units and those that are profitable, or at least doing what they are supposed to, be sold off. Otherwise, let's just nationalize the friggin' thing and get it over with. Why assume the debt and not reap the eventual profits, if any?

You're welcome to damn or praise me for that rant, as I'm sure some of you will.

For the half dozen of you I consider friends, you'll be happy to know that things are going well out here. The down part is that Donna hasn't been feeling well the past week and she'll be seeing a doctor to try and get to the bottom of it all. We're actually looking around for a new doctor or two, but that's a whole 'nother issue.

The birds are quickly wearing out their welcome and may find themselves released to see how Babie deals with them. hehe

Just kidding, although it is amazing how frackin noisy two tiny birds can be!!

Oh, I caught WATCHMEN yesterday and will be trying to write a quick review to post over on Shot's Shack later. Bottom line: Four stars and a big, blue penis!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shaun Barker "Pieces" video

Posting this because is 'stars' my friend Christina Stoffo. You get to hear her voice reporting traffic back in New York, so it's nice to see her demonstrating her acting skills.

I'm sure her mom is very happy with this!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

VCR Hack!

Want to thank the guys over on the Tony Isabella messageboard for digging up this treasure.

The monster in mine also likes fun-size Snickers!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Donna and I love our DVR, but are having trouble finding the time to watch everything we already recorded. Seems half the time there are things in 'real time' we want to see, or we are both so wiped out that one or the other is dosing off in their recliners. I have a feeling we'll have more than half a season of COLD CASE, NCIS and a few others when summer gets here.

Growing up my mom almost always had a parakeet, but she would only have one at a time. Having Guide & Scout you can't begin to imagine how loud two small birds can be! I feel bad sometimes covering them up at 8:30pm or so, but it is nice to have a bit of peace & quiet!! Of course, Babie is fascinated by them and will sit for hours watching them jumping about.

Looks like we are going to have a hectic few months ahead. Donna's BFF Fran will be coming out for a week or so next month, we're trying to figure out where to go, but I'm sure I'll be dumped at least a few times so the ladies can spend some 'quality time'. Then in May, Donna's sister Marilyn, along with her husband Doug and the twins, Megan & Daniel will be flying out for just about two weeks. Already have gone out and gotten sleeping bags for the kids and some stuff to keep them occupied. I think we'll be boarding Guide & Scout with The Child while they are here.

In case you're wondering, things seem to be steady in our employment situation. Our bargaining unit here at the Library is taking a vote on some issues with the city and we hope that keeps everyone from talking lay-offs or 'unpaid' furloughs.

Have I said recently how happy we are to be living in southern California? Can't tell you the number of times Donna and I have high-fived each other while watching the Weather Channel folks talking about ice & snow back east. Ha, ha!!

That does it for me! Hope not to be so long before my next update.

Friday, February 27, 2009


OMG! You can't go wrong with Doc Proctor in the house!

What a nice surprise seeing Phil.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Here's Babie keeping tabs on Guide & Scout. Not the best picture of the two new houseguests, but you get the idea of how things are around here.

Have a good weekend!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I forgot to post the picture I took of Babie watching Guide & Scout, but will try to do so in the next few days. She is still fascinated by her two new roommates, but has never tried to get at them. The birds have become pretty used to their new home and can be heard arguing a good part of the day over who gets the swing. It's quite a lively household.

My beloved will be celebrating her birthday tomorrow, but we have no plans. She was offered dinner, but she declined so we'll be staying home. I might get take-out, and we'll catch the Oscar telecast. Not that we have seen more than one or two movies and only one that has any nominations. Still it should be fun seeing how Hugh Jackman handles the hosting job. He has performed that function at the Tony's, but this is a slightly less sophisticated crowd, so I'm sure we'll get Wolverine/X-Men references and a joke or two about Australia.

On the political front I'm not going to say a word. Everybody else has bashed or praised the decisions of the Obama adminstration thus far, so I doubt there is much I can add either way. I'm almost at the point where I'm thinking of taking a break from watching anything but the local news and weather, plus sports again once actual exhibition games start.

Hope you all are doing well and staying out of trouble! I do have an e-mail address so feel free to drop me a line.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Our Representatives Just Stabbed Us In The Back

This is why I find The Young Turks one fo the best sites for analysis and kick ass commentary.

I joined the effort to get them onto MSNBC in the 10:00pm slot.

Check out http://www.theyoungturks.com

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Scout & Guide, our two new parakeets, are settling in quite well. Babie is absolutely entranced by them and is spending hours sitting on the arm of the love seat or Donna's recliner (even when Donna is in it) staring at her new roommates. In the morning you'll find Babie sitting near the table waiting for one of us to uncover her new friends. Honestly, she hasn't tried to get at them or bother the cage, which was my initial fear. It's actually kind of cute! (In case, you're wondering that IS NOT Babie or our two birds. I found it on the web and it perfectly captures what we experience. I'll try to grab the camera and get a couple of photos of the real thing to share.)

The weather here the past couple of days has been a bit chilly (SoCal wise, not the below freezing stuff you folks deal with. Brrr!) and rainy. We do need the rain, so I really should not complain. I just hate driving in bad weather, but I guess nobody does!

Donna and I are checking cruise lines, airlines and Las Vegas websites trying to figure out what we want to do this year. The only definite plans we have so far actually involve the Rose Parade next January, but we like to do something between then and now. We both love cruising and might have a three-nighter in May, depending on several factors. Donna and Kristina were in Las Vegas last year, but I haven't been in a few years and would love to go back. I have loved the place since my first visit and have enjoyed every visit since. I'll keep you posted.

As you can tell, from the lack of posts, there continues to be a block on Blogger and MySpace at work. Personally, I'm just happy that I can continue to visit Shelfari and the Tony Isabella messageboard each day. We'll see how my blogging goes for the rest of the year. (By the way, for those of you who check both I've also posted a comics review over at SHOT'S SHACK.)

Take care, be well and write if you get work!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Well, overall I'm pretty happy with the first four days of the Obama administration. Of course, being one of those 'liberal/leftist' bloggers I'm never going to be completely in agreement with everything done by a moderate like Barack. Still after eight years of the Bush crime family all this feels like a breath of fresh air.

I'm willing to wait for the next few months (giving Obama/Biden their 100 days) to see where we are at that point. Things seem headed in a much better direction and we can't expect miracles. (An old agnostic like me never does!)

We are having some badly needed rain here in SoCal, but it still doesn't make me happy to have to drive in it. Those who know me already know how uneasy I am in this kind of weather. Hell, I'm even nervous driving in bright sunshine!

Donna and I are going back and forth on how to celebrate our 10th anniversary this year. I know it won't be until late November, but if we want to take a cruise or head off somewhere we want to make plans and get reservations. We might take a another weekend cruise for Memorial Day, but it's not 100% set yet. I'd also love to hit Las Vegas sometime this year, even for a few days. Been several years since our last trip (not counting a few hours spent in the LV airport playing slots during a plane change) and I love the place.

That wraps it up for now. Just wanted to let you all know I'm still around and will be trying to post updates at least every other Saturday.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Barack Announces Organizing for America

I am very, excited about tomorrow. Maybe this country still has a chance to be great again.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Has G.W. gone yet? Can't we get an amendment stating that the new President can toss out the current resident of the Oval Office if his poll ratings are lower than the President-elects? Just a thought next time around!

Can we get a show of hands on how many of you believe that nothing will be done about the 'war crimes' committed by the out-going gang of thugs? I don't see the current Democratic leadership suddenly gaining the courage to do anything. I expect it to duplicate the Clinton administration in regards to the Iran-Contra affair, allowing Bush I to remain at large.

Oh, in case you were wondering. Donna and I felt the 4.5 quake the other night. Just annoying enough to get me out of my recliner and check out our cars.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

A very, happy belated New Year's to all of you. (Pardon any typos since, Babie, has now decided it's time to check out the keyboard.)

If anybody is still reading this blog (and I don't know more than a few), I want to apologize for not being here. As I mentioned a couple of months ago, my employer has changed the filtering system at work, making it impossible for me to write on a break. This leaves only weekends, since I never go online at home after work. I spend enough time doing research and reference, along with my reports, in the library and don't feel like typing when I get home.

I don't expect things to change, so the coming year will see even fewer posts here and on SHOT'S SHACK. Many of those will be when I upload YouTube videos and add comments. This is a way to get around the filter, until I find another way or set up another web page somewhere. It's a thought, believe me!

Donna and I had a nice holiday, spending Christmas with The Child and a few friends. Then, since I had a couple of weeks off, we took a four-night cruise for New Year's Eve. Unfortunately, I got sick and ended up quarantined in our cabin for 24-hours and watched the ball drop and shipboard activities from my sickbed.


Any of you who have known me for a while (and this would be most of you reading this) are aware that I have a short-attention span and my interests come and go. When I started blogging, I had so much to say that I began a second blog to spread things out and separate the political from the pop culture stuff. I seem to have hit a point where my interest in posting is in decline. As it was when I gave up on apa-hacking, I have come to a time when it seems more a chore to blog than fun. When that happens it time to step back.

Time for an admission (unless I've mentioned it before and forgotten). Another reason I am delinquent in posting and reading others is that I have a new addiction.

For the past month I have started playing the online RBG game KINGDOM OF LOATHING . Check it out, if you don't know it, or you can wait for me to write it up and post some of my experiences over on SHOT'S SHACK in the next week or so.

Take care and I'll try to stay in touch!