Friday, February 27, 2004

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Babies and Beards

In case you didn't notice from the picture a couple of posts ago, I've been growing a beard. I mean, a full beard. It's the first time for me. I have never been able to take it for very long. I've had a goatee a couple of times but a full beard is always so annoying...and itchy. But this time I did it. It was going pretty well, too, until yesterday. I just got sick of it I guess. In a grand, impulsive gesture, I got the clippers down and went at it. It was kind of sad. I miss those poor little whiskers. I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it all so I left a goatee. It'll probably come off, too, in a couple of days. I look stupid with a goatee.

Rufflebutt is growing so fast! I pulled out a pair of her jammies tonight and she's too big for them. So I got another pair and she's too big for them, too! She's learned how to wave and she does it all the time. She opens and closes her hand as if trying to grasp at something. It's so cute. I'll post more pictures of her soon. She's such a ham. She has tiny teeth on the top and bottom. She's just beautiful. I can't imagine not having her around.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Day Off

Today is the first real day off I've had in a long time. I slept late, lounged around, went to the library and picked up some cd's to, um, listen to. It's been nice. I found this picture that I've been meaning to upload. It was taken quite awhile ago. It's part of the family band I'm organizing:

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Ozric Who?

A couple of days ago, my friend, Mike, a "musicologist" (near as I can tell, that simply means he owns more than 10,000 albums), introduced me to a great band called Ozric Tentacles. It came up as a result of my recent obsession with Blue Man Group. He said the Tentacles are a lot like them. I gave Jurassic Shift a listen and I can't get it out of my CD player now. Their albums, all instrumental, are an ecclectic soup of etherial moodiness, exotic rythms, and styles ranging from classical, to jazz, to heavy metal. The flute plays a prominent role on the CD, Strangeitude, so many of the songs come off sounding a lot like Jethro Tull, which is by no means a bad thing. Apparently, these guys have been around since 1985 and have a lot of albums under their belts. Where have I been? Has anyone else heard of them?

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

The Governator's Address

I found an article describing the event of which I shot video for work.

Today's Dinky Quote

I have made this [letter] longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.
Blaise Pascal, "Lettres provinciales", letter 16, 1657

Monday, February 16, 2004

More Funny Things Kids Say

My three-year-old is like most kids his age. His sense of time is limited to now, some time from now, and everything that happened before. When he wants to refer to something in the past, he's not sure how to distinguish yesterday from the day before yesterday or a week ago. So he's come up with his own term that works for every situation. For example, he might say, "Lasterday I went to my class," or, "We had some of those apple lasterday." I think it's quite ingenious.

He says other cute things, too. My wife made much anticipated cinnamon rolls and when they were finally done, he came down and said, "Dad, do you want some rockenrolls? They're done."

Speaking of rockenrolls, my five-year-old told me he's going to be a rock star when he grows up. He's even written a song, and he sang it to me yesterday. I'll try to remember the words, but I'm not quite sure: "How much is that doggy in the window? I want to buy him so I can sell him and buy some popcorn." Something like that. We should have written it down.
Here are some pics from the trip:

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Mile Stone

Princess Rufflebutt crawled today for the first time!

I'm Baaaaack!

So Wednesday morning my boss, my friend Dick, and I packed up the truck with all of our gear. We had three cameras two laptops, lots of tape and batteries, and our personal stuff. We left Salt Lake around 10:45 am and headed south on I-15. It was a typical guy trip, full of belches, farts, and crude jokes. We had to get it out of our systems because we knew it would be the same on the return drive. Our talent--I'll call her H.--was flying down on our client's six-passenger plane, but she would return with us on Saturday. I wasn't looking forward to the restraint of freedom that would mean.

When we got into Vegas, we parked behind the Luxor, which would hopefully be our home for the night, and went in search of the check-in desk. We waded through the computerized sounds of one-armed-bandits and poker machines and finally found our target. We had no idea whether we'd have rooms or not. Our client was supposed to have booked them but since it was so last minute, we weren't sure if he'd succeeded. As it turned out, he was there, at the desk, when we arrived. His assistant was just then booking our rooms. After we got that taken care of and deposited our stuff in our rooms, our client, C., bought us a quick snack, promising us a real dinner later, as we had to hurry to get to the show. We were going to the Blue Man Group after all! Dick and I were giggling like little girls. We couldn't wait. We wolfed down our whatever-it-was and rushed to get our tickets and be seated. The show was great! I may be a guitarist now, but for fiteen years I've been a drummer and I couldn't keep my eyes off the percussionists in the back up band. The blue men were amazing percussionists as well. The comedy had Dick and I rolling out of our seats. I could never justify paying the 94 bucks myself, but it was one of the best shows I've been to and certainly the highlight of the trip.

After the show, we ate dinner and then went to watch C. play baccarat. Apparently he has a system with which he makes about $400 an hour playing the game. He sat down and the people at the other tables all turned and looked as he laid down $10,000 in hundred-dollar bills. We watched him play for a few minutes, and then Dick and I went to bed. My boss told me later that C. cleared $2000 that night. I'll never be rich enough to make money gambling. Dick and I were both staggering like drunkards (neither of us drink) after riding the "inclinator" to our rooms. It was an odd sideways sensation that through off our equilibrium. Dick didn't like walking next to the railing. I loved looking over it, straight down to the floor of the hotel. But it was a little intimidating. I kept imagining myself plunging down.

We left fairly early the next morning heading to Los Angeles. H. was still in the plane with the others. We got to the school that was going to receive Arnold and set up our equipment.

Well, this is getting boring so I'll wrap it up. Suffice to say: We saw the Governor, shot video of all the festivities, got lost in L.A. for two hours, stayed in a crummy motel that night, got up early and shot show segments on the beach, got tied up in traffic for hours on the way back to Vegas, had dinner at 1 am at the Cheesecake factory, went to bed on the 27th floor of the pyramid, then went home. The end.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Vegas, Baby! Vegas!

We're doing another hit-the-ground-running, commando production tomorrow. We're going to Los Angeles again, but this time we have more than just six or seven hours. This time were going to spend the night in Vegas at the Luxor Hotel, and I understand we're going to see the Blue Man Group perform! (Right now, just imagine me screaming one of the most sincerest "WOO HOO"'s I've ever screamed.) There's a grand opening of another of the schools for which we're producing our teen health and exercise programs and Governor Schwarzenegger is going to be there. So the company is sending us to L.A. to shoot the event and possibly get an interview or at least a couple of sound bites from him. We're leaving tomorrow morning and coming back on Saturday, and we're all scrambling around trying to get everything ready--including scripts, since it was decided we'd shoot a show while we're down there.

I wasn't very excited at first. I'm a homebody and I don't relish all the time away from my family. But Mrs. C. seemed really excited and said she'd go in my place if she could, so that perked me up a little. But when I heard about the Blue Man Group, my fate was sealed. I don't give a rat's hoo-ha about the Governator, but those blue guys are a different story.

I can see us now: Driving out of the parking lot Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau style, shouting Vegas, Baby! Vegas!

Blog it forward 5 is here so I'm going to do my civic duty as a citizen of the blogiverse. The only thing is, the decision is always so tough. How do you pick just one . . . or two . . . or seventeen of your favorite blogs when there are so many good ones out there? But I'll give it a shot one more time:

I'm not sure how I stumbled onto Anne-Charlotte's blog. In her words she's, "A language student in her mid-twenties, living in Gothenburg on the Swedish west coast." I can hear her charming accent in her posts. Someone else used the perfect word to describe the place: "Cozy." Check out the wonderful photos.

I also have to plug Kem White. He is the one who inspired my post about grammar peaves. His writing style is top notch.

Oh, I almost forgot. I still haven't heard back from the doctor about the heart monitor thing. I should call him, but you know me...I probably won't.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

The Question All Parents Hope They Don't Have to Ask:

"Why is there a pork chop in your bed!?"
Apparently, my three-year-old was famished last night. He must have been more tired than hungry, though.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

English: The Endangered Language

The other day, Videographer Dick and I were watching a speech by President Bush in which he said the word "nukular." We both groaned loudly and simultaneously. That's not how you say the word, Mr. Most-Conspicuous-Man-in-the-World! It's Nuclear. I bring this up because I was just visiting Kem's site a moment ago and saw his rant about the non-word "irregardless." This triggered my anti-English-abuse response and now I want to post a few more irritants. (I must say, however, that this kind of post is always a little dangerous. It means I must be extra diligent about my own grammar, spelling and usage. Thank Heaven for

This one always gets me. And I'm hearing it and seeing it more and more in professional situations like commercials and news articles. Don't they know that when they say they are nauseous, they are telling us that they make us sick? The word they want is "nauseated."

Could Care Less
There must be a better way to say that you care about something because that's what you're saying when you use this phrase. Try, "I couldn't care less."

Your vs. You're
When the people you're talking to are doing something, you say "you're." When you're referring to something that belongs to them, you say "your."

Apostrophe S
We were shopping for Christmas trees a couple of years ago when I saw a sign that said, "Douglas Fir's." I probably shouldn't have done it, but, with my permanent Sharpie, I wrote, "Unless this sign belongs to a man named Douglas Fir, you don't need an apostrophe here." I know: I'm a snob and a vandal.

About "irregardless:" I heard a great definition of it a while ago. It means without lack of regard.

By the way, thanks for all the great ideas, everybody.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Call for Ideas

OK. Now it's official. I'm desperate. I need ideas. I accepted this writer/producer thing and I'm fresh out of ideas. Here's the audience: A room full of sweaty highschoolers (actually 600 rooms full of said highschoolers) working out on equipment watching our product. What's the product? A thirty-minute video loop featuring music videos and "extreme videos" (two to three minute videos of extreme sports--motorcycle hill climbing, snowmobiling, etc.--set to rockin' music), separated by one to one and a half minute educational pieces dealing with various health issues. I've already written about body piercing, safe driving, weight lifting, water, soda, bad breath, sitting up straight, and many more. I'm drained of brain mass. I need any suggestions I can get. Anyone?

Heart Update: Right now it's going like a clumsy disco dancer on coke.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Resistance is Futile

I look like a borg. A borg with palpatations. I have several multicolored electrodes attached to my chest which lead to a recorder at my belt. Everytime I have a flutter I'm supposed to type in a code on the keypad. I've done this approximately 942 billion times since yesterday.

The thing hasn't gotten in the way as much as I thought it would, but I'll be glad to get it off. That will happen in about an hour from now. I should get the results in a couple of days. I have mixed feelings about whether I want it to register something. I don't want there to be a problem because I don't want to take medication or more tests. But I do want proof that what I've been going through is really happening. I guess we'll see soon.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Oh Wondrous Planetarium

Yesterday we packed up all the kids and drove over to the planetarium to see the IMAX film "Bugs" in 3D. On the way up the long, winding staircase to the upper level from the parking garage, my eight-year old said, "Mom, Dad, you should be aware that I am afraid of heights."

As I predicted, the spider dropping down in front of the kids' noses drove them a little batty. My five-year-old pulled his glasses off so he didn't have to look at it. I noticed he was plugging his ears much of the time, too. He can't take loud noises. (He's afraid of automatic toilets for that reason. He won't go in a public restroom if he thinks the toilets are going to flush by themselves.)My buddy, Scott, works for the planetarium and he got us in for free. He then bought several rolls of pennies for the kids to put in the "black hole" display. There's a slot that you put the penny in and it shoots out, rolling in an elipse toward the center, in which a black hole awaits. I think we had 10 or 15 coins streaking around it at once. We soon became the center of attention, as a crowd of kids gathered to watch and participate with the help of Scott's generosity. It was a little annoying when all the kids but mine started flicking the coins off course with their fingers or blowing on them. Scott is much more patient than I am. He'd be a good father, but he doesn't have kids. Maybe that's the secret to his patience with them. Princess Rufflebutt was asleep for about half of the film, but the noise woke her up and she spent the remainder staring, fascinated, at the fifteen-story moving blur in front of her.

The kids were also entertained by the rest of the attractions. There's a place where you can walk on "Mars" and on the "Moon," and model that depicts the size of the planets that was a lot of fun to look at. All in all, we had a good time.