Thursday, April 30, 2009

Revenge of the Mockingbird

So, the Mocking Bird that inhabits the Bradford Pear outside my bedroom read my blog, and decided that he/she needed to start his/her song at 12:30, instead of at two.

Thankfully, my Heroes help deaden the sound.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dear Cable.

Last January, I took the plunge and called the cable company to disconnect my Cable services: Digital Cable (third tier), High Def Programming (only available on the third tier and above), two HD DVR and an approximately $150.00 bill. That bill does include my high speed Internet connection of about $50.00.

I can remember when mom and dad first subscribed to Cable back in the eighties. The company was Columbia Cable Television (CCTV), and it came with a handful of channels (TBS, MTV and Nickelodeon were my favorites) and a remote control that was tethered to the cable box. I have no idea how much it cost, but, comparing with the four channels we got "OTA" (over the air) it was amazingly cool. The quality was vastly better.

About a year before we disconnected, we elevated our services from the bare basics ($9.00) to the full Monty. We disconnected Direct TV and started enjoying watching commercials for Direct TV telling us how superior it was to cable. For the first month or so, I was in love with Cable. I could come home and just watch for hours. Discovery HD was my favorite. But, after the courtship, we kinda just got use to each other. Days would go by without even turning on the TV. But Cable didn't mind. She dutifully recorded my shows onto the DVR and I watched them when they were convenient for me. Ironically, I was mostly watching Network Television (you know, the stuff that comes for free OTA).

Then I bought a laptop. I discovered TED and uTorrernt and xTvi and learned how to download the same network programming that I was paying $100 dollars a month. Using Roku digital video player and my Netflix account I had access to a vast library of programming. Then, Netflix went and joined up with Microsoft to allow Xbox Live Gold Members the ability to stream Netflix to their Xbox 360 units. With my Xbox 360 and my Archos TV+ (great price from Circuit City) I can stream my downloaded media to either unit (this translates to upstairs and downstairs). Finally, this week I discovered PlayOn which allows me to stream HULU content to either the Xbox or Archos. This has allowed me to decrease the amount of shows that I have to get from Ted and uTorrent. Also, I feel a bit gray about downloading TV bit torrents: I keep it to stuff that I can get OTA.

So my TV life has been ok ever since writing my "Dear Cable" letter.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Hearos Extreme Ear Filters 7 Pair Standard

Do you still follow Heroes? Yeah, me too. But, this post isn’t about the Monday night show about flying congressmen (hey, wouldn’t that really be cool in real life). Instead, it is about mockingbirds.

To be more specific, the mocking bird that lives in my bradford pear tree. Yes, that’s right, the very one that is next to my bedroom. The location is only pertinent due to the fact that Max (my name for the bird) decides to sing at 2:30 am. Everyday. Like clockwork.

Thankfully, I have little foamy ear plugs that you can roll into a tight tube and then insert into your ears. As the foam material returns to its normal shape, it provides a barrier to Max’s serenades. Fortunately, I had a pair to spare for my wife (who also has been woken by the miscreant).

These little foamy ear plugs have become our hearoes.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What ever happened to Tyler?

Three years ago, I posted a bit about Tyler Lindsay and his brother, Ryan, and sister, Christina. His family, Navy people, were stationed out in Washington. But this hasn't stopped their musical ambitions.

Recently, Mama Lindsay posted some videos of the kids on You Tube. I thought I would share them with you. Keep your eyes out for these kids.

Jazz Wonder

Update On Tyler

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What a Relief

With Easter just having passed, and a lot of yard work to do, I have had plenty of times to think about my beliefs. Do you ever have these long dialogues with yourself as you work through some things? I do. Even to the point of imagining that I am speaking to someone else. If I am not careful, my thoughts become very audible as I speak out loud to an imaginary friend.

What I have to admit to myself, is that I sometimes get caught up in pride. That somehow, I have God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit pretty much figured out, and I leave it at that.

The part that is still an absolute mystery to me is how some people are just *absolutely* in love with them. And I wonder why I don’t feel that way. Perhaps I am caught in my own dogma of having “figured” them out.

Again, just being honest, I forget that Jesus spent his life with the type of people that I would probably not have hung around with. Those “undesirables” were the ones he came for, and they were the ones he built his church with. And, to top it off, I am still a little hung up about the rules. I want to “do” right so that, you know, the world can see my faith.

What a relief to know that I can admit to myself (out there, while cutting grass) that I don’t have God quite so figured out. And, about all those rules…there are only two that really matter: Love God, and Love People. Even the kind that I might not hang with, because He loves them the same way He loves me.


Monday, April 20, 2009

English Porn

I had to write about this, because I am really confused.

Cindy googled “Plural Possessive Worksheets” and got several hits. As she started clicking into them, she noticed that the page was taking a while to render. Then, BAM…there it was: a bevy of women in the Chesapeake area who was ready to help with “Plural Possessive” worksheets.

We thought that it might have been a virus, after all, I had just installed an updated version of our Anti-Virus. Makes sense that we would get a virus. Ran some malware checks, nothing. Everything showing in the green.

As a check, I did some random google searches, including Star Wars, Geeks, Nerf hearder and clicked through. Nothing. But, go back to the Plural Possessive and watch out!

So, let this be a warning to you out there searching for worksheets to help you with English. You might get more than you were expecting.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Birthday Marathon Ideas

In 2001, for my Birthday, I started to take the day off from work and go to the movies. It was a birthday present to myself. As the girls got older, I started wanting to share with them the day. For my 38th, I did the "Star Wars" Marathon - that was one of the bests. For 39 we had a minithon with Shrek and Shrek 2 in preparation for Shrek 3. Last year, we did the Indiana Jones Trilogy as well as catching Prince Caspian in the theaters.

What will it be for the 41st annual Day of Chuck?

  • 24 in 24 - Try to watch 24 in one contiguous sitting. Not sure this will be Family Friendly.
  • Star Trek Movies - Trek I - VI. Already, the natives are against me on this one, and I would probably be going it alone. With Jay and a bunch of people dressed up as Klingons, this might not be as much fun.
  • Lord of the Rings - Extended Editions - I watched the first two over Christmas, and they are still fresh in my mind.
  • Pixar - In honor of the "upcoming" Up, watch the Pixar Films Toy Story, Bugs Life, Toy Story 2, Monster's Inc, Finding Nemo, Incredibles, Cars, Ratatooie and Wal-E. Nine Films, but I could cut it off after Cars because I did not like the last two.

I am up for any other suggestions.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Town Hall For Hope

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Murtaugh List

By now, the term “Bucket List” has worked its way into our vocabulary, thanks to the movie of the same name. In the film, two men with terminal cancer decide to do all of the things that they want to do before they “kick the bucket.” Luckily, one of the men has the financial means to allow both of them to accomplish their list.

But what about you and me?

We are in our early forties. We can look forward to, God willing, a long life, but, we also realize that, statistically speaking, half of our life has passed.

We are no longer the group of kids who would stay up all night in the Kirk’s garage watching movies, eating pizza, and (on occasion) smoke a cigar or two.

Which leads me to the title of my post: The Murtaugh List. The name of the list is taken from one of the characters from the Lethal Weapon series, Sgt. Roger Murtaugh, played by Danny Glover. Murtaugh is facing retirement and the good life, when he gets saddle with a new partner, Martin Riggs. Murtaugh’s catch phrase is “I am getting too old for this stuff.” Ok, he didn’t say stuff, but you get the picture.

The Murtaugh List is a list of things that you are getting too old to do anymore. Off the top of my head, I probably could add “Staying up all night watching movies” and “Smoking Cigars” on the list.

What is on yours?

ht to the writers of “How I Met Your Mother” for this hilarious idea.