Friday, December 30, 2005

Not so Stupid Things We Do...

...but I'm still a Moron.

The Alarm went off at 5:30 this morning. Normally, I would hit the Happy Button about twelve times, but today was different.

Caribou Coffee opened this morning in Hibbing at 6 am.

The Blond, our friend PK, and The Colonel were the 1st customers. "
New Dad" wasn't very far behind. The Colonel was so excited, that he began to refer to himself in the third person again. The Blond told him to stop it, so I did.

PK offered up a “Blessing/Toast” asking that God would prosper this new business with great employees, good health, and lots of customers. The Manager gave us a Ginormous stack of Free Coupons to give out to friends and family.

Just for kicks, we ran some coffee down to our
favorite local DeeJays.

Already wired, The Blond & I then went back through the DT for a couple "Double Shot" Machiattos.

By the time we got home, we were chattering at about 300 words per minute.

We were so pumped, she sent me back for a couple of Mugs.

I have to calm down. I have to calm down…

We’re going to go back tonight when
Coffee Boy has his first shift...

...I think I’ll try a “Triple.”

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Obligatory Christmas Post

"Lazy Bloggers Have No Readers"

Must Post even though The Colonel is Exhausted.

Here are some quick Christmas thoughts...

Our tree always gives Charlie Brown a run for his money. Seriously...Here it is:

The Dog got all trimmed up with Christmas Bows and everything. She is currently in her kennel for leaving a Stain on the Carpet the size of a Dartboard.

The Jilb & I surprised The Blond & The Boy with Jerseys of their Favorite Football Guys. Neither of these teams made the Play-offs.

My side of the family holds a $20 gift exchange. Coffee Boy and The Hermit participated by exchanging $20 Bills with each other. (Note the IPOD buds in The Hermit's ears. Thus, he was able to survive the family gathering.)

Little Penny said it was, "The Best Christmas EVER!"

Merry Christmas, Everybody.

Next Week, we return to:
1. Pathetic Social Commentary
2. Film Reviews if I Feel Like It.
3. Stupid things The Colonel Does.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Ice is Nice...and Will Suffice

The Whiner and the Hermit were beside themselves. (It looked there were four of them) They were upset because their Christmas vacation was not to begin until Saturday, December 24th. Somehow, the Superintendent of their school had gotten the idea that it would be really cool to have the only learning institution in America that was actually holding classes this Friday.

Imagine the kids' glee when they woke up this morning to an Ice Storm and the news that school had been cancelled.

Now, I know that the safety of the children is always the first consideration when canceling classes, but I can't help but wonder if an early beginning to vacation didn't play into the decision as well.

I'm imagining a scene between the superintendent and his wife that is reminiscent of a current Sprint commercial:

The Superintendent is sitting at home, listening to the weather report.

"Hmmm..." he says to his wife, "It sounds kind of bad out there. I think I'll cancel school today. That way we'll get an expanded Christmas break. It's my little way of 'sticking it to the man'."

"But dear," She reminds him that he made the vacation schedule in the first place, "Aren't YOU 'the man'?"

"Yes," He says, "Yes...I am... "

"Then aren't you just sort of... sticking it to yourself?"

He pauses..."Maybe..."

My kids were pleased. The Blond and I went to work.

Monday, December 12, 2005


When I was on a strict diet, I used to allow myself one Peanut Butter sandwich for lunch. I would always bring it to work in a brown paper bag. A couple of times, the only container I could find to carry it in was a left-over McDonald's "A" bag. (The small, lunch-sack sized ones).

Whenever this would happen, even though I KNEW the bag only contained a Peanut Butter sandwich, I was always a bit disappointed when I opened it. It was like I EXPECTED to find a Big Mac in there. Even though I packed the sandwich myself, and the sandwich was good, something about the packaging made me expect a lunch that was a little bit tastier.

That's kind of how I felt after seeing, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe".

Let me say up front, I thought it was a Good Movie.

I just didn't think it was great.

Whether this is fair or not, and whether I realized it or not, I had anticipated Narnia being on a level with "The Two Towers".

Unfortunately, with the bar that high, the film, no matter how good, just couldn't measure up to my expectations.

There is also the difficulty with the inevitable comparisons, both good and bad, to the highly regarded BBC Narnia series.

All of this is quite unfortunate, on my part, as it is preventing me from deciding on a definitive "Thumbs Up" or Thumbs Down" for this film.

So instead, I'll take the easy way out and cover a few individual characteristics, in no particular order, and give my usual Biased, Retentative, Nerdo-geek opinions on them...


The Best of the kids...Innocent, Trusting, and Cute. I believed her. Thumbs-up.

The other three Pevensies:

Sorry...Bring back the BBC kids. (See? See? It JUST a STUPID Bias!) Nice picture. Too bad they never looked that cool in the movie. Thumbs-down.

Mr. and Mrs. Beaver:

The Lewis family hated the BBC Beavers. (Sounds like a bad college hockey team) They hated them on the grounds that their costumes stunk and they were stupid. I agree. Thumbs-up, however, to the New Beavers.

Mr. Tumnus:

TOTAL thumbs up. The scenes with Mr. T and Lucy were the best in the film. We were even treated to a little insight at the end as to what a trusted advisor he would become to the Kings / Queens during their reign. (True Narnia geeks: Check out Tumnus' cameo appearance in "The Horse and His Boy" to see what I mean.)


Tough one. Very believable. Liam Neeson's voice has just the right level of gravel for the part. My only problem is that his voice is a bit TOO recognizable...Oh well, Thumbs-up.

The White Witch:

In an attempt to distance themselves from the old, INSANE, BBC witch, the film-makers have left Jadis a bit hollow. You keep waiting for her to get REALLY instense, but it never quite gets there. Was it just me, or did the cut of her costume and the pale make-up make her look a bit to much like Alice Krige playing the Borg Queen in Star Trek? But I digress. I was going with a thumbs-down until my son pointed out something I had missed. She actually wore Aslan's mane around her neck as an adornment in the final battle scene. Whoa...she IS nuts. Thumbs-up.

The Death of Aslan:

Here's where the whole expectations vs. reality, PG vs. PG-13, adult vs. kid's film thing comes into play. This scene COULD have been more than it was. With all the effects, sound make-up, etc at its disposal, it still falls short of the absolute horror the occasion warrants. Should it be as realistic as "The Passion"? Probably not. Did it miss the mark? Yeah. Thumbs-down. (The Queen's black eyes were pretty freaky, however.)

Finally, the Battle:

C'mon. Remember the Build-up to Helm's Deep? Remember how emotionally tied in you were by that point? Sorry, but I just didn't care as much by the end of this film.
"Now wait a minute, Colonel," You say, "Knock off the Two Towers Comparisons already! Nobody said this was supposed to remind us of that battle!"
Ok, then what's the deal with the Minotaur standing on the rocky rise bellowing like a Uruk-Hai urging the army forward? What's with the riders crashing into each other like Rohirrim and Wargs? If you are going to use identical shots filmed from the same angles, you INVITE comparisons. Thumbs-DOWN!

Wait a minute...let me catch my breath.

I liked the movie. I liked the movie. I liked the movie.

My son also said he still hopes it does great at the box office so they make more of them. He said that even though it wasn't great, there are more opportunities to make better films out of the subsequent books. (Yes, Even Prince Caspian) I tend to agree.

I liked the movie. I liked the movie. I liked the movie.

I really want to like it. I DO.

I LIKE peanut Butter Sandwiches.

But they're not Big Macs.

Of Cups and Couplings

This Post is dedicated to Larry, who has firsthand knowledge of the value of a good torque amplifier.

Sunday morning, I went to grab a travel mug to fill up with the "
Acceptable Christian Stimulant" of choice.

Imagine my concern when I discovered that every travel mug we own had been left, at some point in the week, out in our vehicles. They were now completely inaccessible to me and my stockinged feet, across the frozen wasteland that is our back yard.

So I looked once more, deep, deep, back in the cupboard, and there it was, saying "Me! Me! Please pick me!"

Yes...I know it is a Pink Cup. You don't have to tell me it's pink. EVERYBODY at church told me it was pink. I've never caught so much grief in my life.

Never let it be said that the Colonel isn't secure in who he is, but all the same, I felt I needed to reassert the existence of Y-Chromosomes in my DNA. Something drastic had to be done to balance out the Mug episode.

It was too cold to
Cook Outdoors and I wasn't properly dressed to work on a transmission, so I decided to REPLACE AN OLD PIPE in our Steam System.

By now, of course you have figured out that you can re-arrange the letters in "Replace an old Pipe" to spell, "Rip a Candle, People." I'm not quite certain how to do that, but I'm sure it would have been easier.

I didn't have a big enough pipe wrench, so I went to a very manly Hardware Store and purchased a

Even then, one coupling simply would not budge. I finally had to employ the help of two SIX FOOT Pipes on the end of the wrenches (The previously mentioned Torque Amplifiers). So there I was, standing six feet away from the coupling, grunting and straining to move this joint, and pausing only to sip coffee from my pink cup.

Finally, it gave. I removed the offending link of pipe, ran down to ANOTHER, very manly IRON FABRICATING business, and had a new pipe...get this...CUT AND THREADED.

I put everything back together, and, confidence restored, sat down to write this post.

The Pipe cost $7.44

The Wrench, however, was $63.00

My new,
Camouflage Coffee Mug , on the other hand, was only $4.99.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Things I Do Because I'm a Moron: Supplemental

We had a nice warm streak of weather about two weeks back.

I spent most of it writing a long, senseless post about Television Plots.

Then, after a bit of a cold snap, the weather turned balmy again.

This time, I avoided the nice temps by working on
my son's Wedding Video . (Anticipated Release Date: May, 2008)

Yesterday was the coldest, windiest, nastiest day of the winter so far. (In Chicago, it was the coldest December 5th ever.)

Naturally, I put up our Christmas Lights.

It was Horrible. The strands of wire froze solid so whatever I hung on one side came crashing down when I'd try to hang the other end. I began to make up new words like
Darrin McGavin did in "A Christmas Story".

Several neighbors were peeking out their windows with cell phones. News vehicles cruised by, but the reporters dared not approach me.

Overall, it didn't turn out too bad.

And, on the plus side, I did make
the Dog help me.

(OK, I sort of made a lot of this next one up, but it is in the series...)