Houston, we have Internet

(Catching up on some earlier drafts. . . )

Well, internet connection is alive and well again. It turns out that the problem was here in the house. See, at some point in the past, someone decided to run coax through the entire house. Almost every room has coax in at least one location, often two. There is one small problem with this:

The mass of coax running around through the basement looks a lot like a pile of spaghetti in some spots, and we haev splitters everywhere.

It turned out that one of the splitters was going bad. I probably should have checked that too - but after running all sorts of internal disagnostics on my computer, and given the not-infrequent services outages we've experienced, I was more inclined to presume that the fault lay elsewhere. Still, I have a solid connection again - and my City of Heroes game can continue.


Who needs the Internet?

Not me. I've been having incredibly spotty connections for the past few days - I've finally been connected long enough to get new drivers for the cable modem. Hopefully that solves the problem. This post will be short, just in ca


Episode III thoughts.

Just got back from seeing it, and here are a few impressions (no spoilers though):
  1. It's the best of the second trilogy, though that's not saying much.
  2. Dialogue and acting are still pretty corny and/or wooden. It's not the actors fault, but when CGI beasts and Muppets are more believable characters, there is an issue.
  3. Yep, there's gratuitous CGI stuff. Some of the CGI looks very good, some just looks mediocre.
  4. General Grevious confirms a long-standing belief I have about R2.
  5. Vague attempts are made to tie this final installment in with the original series. Much easier to use the flashy-thing from Men In Black.

It wasn't as good as Empire, but it fits somewhere around Jedi. As an added plus, Jar-Jar makes an appearance, but does not speak.



Yep, I'm a geek. I had been holding out on going to the midnight show of Revenge of the Sith. I had pretty much convinced myself that it wasn't worth it. But, a couple of days ago, I started looking for places it would be playing locally on Thursday.

At the time, according to Movies.com, it wasn't playing anywhere within 10 miles of me. I'm not talking midnight show - I'm talking about it not playing at all.

So, I said, fine. I'll travel 25 miles or so to see it here. And, if I am going to make the drive, I might as well see the midnight show, and maintain a tradition that dates back to the re-release of the original trilogy.

Anyway, yesterday I packed Kevin into the car, nad we were headed out of town to go see if I could buy advance tickets (and run a couple other errands in that area), when I decided to indulge in some idle curiosity and stop by this local theatre. Lo and behold - they have a midnight showing, and they just hadn't advertised it.

I have a ticket for a midnight showing tonight, and I plan on posting a (very) short review before going to sleep afterwards. I won't promise much, but I'll at least try and compare it to the other films in the series.


Nothing much today. . .

I never got around to writing anything witty, significant or even inane for today. I spent my time pouring plaster and writing comments on an upcoming post for a friend. I'll write something longer tomorrow, honest.


Actually, almost certainly. I have at least seven items almost ready to auction, so I have to write up the descriptions for those. Of course, I might not write anything here. I'm sure that this will disappoint my regular reader, and might even disappoint some random passersby.


Revenge of the Sith

RoTS comes out in less than a week, and I just can't get all that exited about it. For years, I told people that I "helped put the fan back in fanatic", and I do have a reasonably impressive amount of Star Wars junk. I've watched the original trilogy several hundred times, and even the new two a few dozen times. But I just can't get worked up about the new one.

Yes, I understand that the original trilogy is not perfect. Heck, they're cheezy westerns, albeit in space. Possibly closer to samurai films, but great cinema they're not. They're fun rollicking tales in space, with some fairly classic and simple themes.

But something seems to be missing. Star Wars was (and still is) pretty good, and Empire is great. Jedi could have been great, except that we had to endure the emasculated Wookies (better known as Ewoks. Truly, an inspired name, Mr Lucas.)

And then decades passed.

We returned with Phantom Menace, and it was just. . . . there. Not good, not terrible, just. . . blah. I understand that the beginning will be slow, since we have to set the stage for everything, but it just didn't thrill me in the same way. Attack of the Clones was better, but still not great (and barely good), with some of the worst dialogue I have heard in years.

With less than a week to go, I find that my prayers have gone from "Please let it be great" to "Please let it not suck." I'll see it on opening day, but this is the first one (as an adult) where I have not already had tickets for three showings in the first 24 hours.


What does $0.28 buy?

About 3 hours of entertainment, so far. Saturday, the three of us went to some garage sales. At one of them, I saw a little red wallet for a quarter. Recently, Kevin has become absolutely fascinated with my wallet, and the myraid contents thereof, to the point of trying to grab it whenever he sees it. Normally, it's in the "out of sight, out of mind" category, but it does make running errands (or, more specifically, paying for errands) considerably tougher.

Darned cute though, especially when he tries to sign the electronic authorization pads.

Anyway, I figured that buying him a wallet for his own would be a good idea, so that's $0.25 of the $0.28. So, what's the other three cents?

Some time ago, we had to buy a new dishwasher, after the magic smoke escaped from our old one. As luck would have it, the price of the dishwasher dropped several weeks later, and, per store policy, we got the difference back in store credit, on one of the snazzy gift cards. That little piece of store credit had been taking up space in my wallet, and I finally decided to get something for it:

Saving Private Ryan
Back to the Future (I, II and III)
New headphones

The total of these three purchases left me with the princely sum of $0.03 on the gift card. I could save it, and apply it toward some future purchase. I could keep the card, and have another $20 put on it. Or, since it's shiny, and kewl, I could give it to Kevin so he had something to put in his wallet, and be just like Dada.

It was money well spent.


Home improvements, part II

Well, I had a fun weekend. Sunday, I spent the early afternoon mowing the yard (which is much easier than at the previous house, though it takes a little longer), and then started spraying the uber-toxic weed killer on as many weeds as I could. I'm not sure how many will actually die, but there are parts of the lawn where grass is essentially a weed in the dandelion crop. The previous owner had neglected the yard for a couple years, maybe longer. I'm sure they mowed, from time to time, but the lawn has large barren patches and areas of pure weeds that were not obvious when we saw the house in the middle of winter.

Once I was done with that, it was off to the hardware store (after cleaning up, since the weed-killer truly was TOXIC). This time, to buy multiple cans of wasp killer. I'd already used one can, and sprayed a couple small nests, but while searching to make sure I got them all, I kept finding another. And another. And three more. And two more under the ledge. And another. All told, I think I had counted about 15 as of late yesterday afternoon. So, when the sun was setting, I started spraying toxic foam across the sides of the house, foaming nests and always ready to run if something went wrong.

So, early this afternoon, I am making rounds to figure out the best way of knocking down all the nests, and I notice a couple things. One, a part of the roof over the garage seems to be. . . buzzing. I still haven't figured out exactly where that nest is, but it's probably not small. Second, I find another half-dozen nests inside some light fixtures and along a ledge. I spray those, concerned that they're not the last.

Turns out that no, they're not the last. I counted another half-dozen, give or take a couple, and decided that, between the new ones, and the big one in the garage roof, it's time to call in the pros.

The irony is that I actually had filled out a schedule request with a national pest removal chain, and they never called me. If they had done so, I might not have this problem now. And if I hadn't waited so long before taking independent action, I might be finding nests in odd places.

So, the present status is that the little munchkin isn't allowed outside, which upsets him greatly. Standing at the window proclaiming "Uck! Uck!" just isn't as satisfying as waving to them as they go down the street, but until the wasp population drops significantly, he's not playing in our yard.


Knee injury #1

I suppose I should start keeping track of these. I've ipcked up my first injury of the year, though it wasn't all that serious. Last week, after making some adjustments to the brakes and derailers of my bicycle, I tried running it through its paces. At some point, I managed to screw up my knee.

Now, for those who have never had any knee injury, there are two main things to keep in mind. One, you can strain your knee while running, biking, etc, and not realize it until later. Say, when you're walking up some stairs, and there's a very painful twinge that casually informs you that you're about to learn how gravity works. Second, they take forever to heal - after all, you put weight on them every time you stand or walk, let alone crawling around playing with a toddler.

It's mostly healed - well enough that I went running again yesterday. My pace sucked, by I did manage to go about 5.5 miles. If I hadn't screwed it up, I probably would be doing 7 or 8. Oh well - I still have plenty of time to train, especially since I am only concerned with completing the half-marathon, not with winning it (or even running competitively).

The race is long, but in the end, it's only with myself.