Saturday, December 31, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 15

Day 15 – Something you don’t leave the house without

I make sure I always have my car. I'm not a big fan of walking.

Friday, December 30, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 14

Day 14 – A TV show you’re currently addicted to.

I hate to echo my wife but Gavin & Stacey is absolutely brilliant.

The Mayor of Hateville

Being a curmudgeon isn't always easy. As of late I've found myself smiling and laughing. It could be due to the absence of my dipshit neighbor. It could be the lack of travel. It could be the fact that my wife is pretty awesome. I doubt it's that I'm becoming a happier person.

1. Citi
I just closed our Citi account and will be running the cards through the shredder the moment I get our cancellation letter in the mail. When I ran into trouble with AT&T they did a considerable amount of butt kissing to keep my business. Citi offered me six months with a lower interest rate and a few extra reward points that I can't redeem until I buy $3000 worth of stuff. Thanks but no thanks.

2. Dog buyers
I've complained about these types before. They know who they are. They buy a dog to have around because well... they've always had a dog. In essence, it's like a lamp that they feed. It really burns my ass when somebody I know brags about buying a dog from God knows where especially when I know, for a fact, that the very same type of dog is sitting in a shelter near them waiting to be adopted. Instead they spend their top dollar for an inbred caricature of the shelter dog. It's a dog, not an iPhone. Nobody cares what you spent on it. Then again, nobody cares what they spent for their iPhone either.

3. Android phones
I don't get them. Gigantic phones that do whatever they do. I'm not a phone elitist even though I own what is perceived as the elitists phone. I got it because it was powerful enough for my needs and it fits completely in my pocket. I'd also mention that the lack of apps (due to restrictions by Apple) ensures that my phone is less likely to be filled up with crapware. I drank the Kool-Aid but so did they. The only difference is that mine wasn't poisoned.

4. Glee
Fuck this show. Fuck the cast. Fuck the music. Fuck Lea Michele.

5. Winter
Where the fuck is my winter? It's snowed twice and one of those was more of a dusting. I'd be willing to forgive the lack of precipitation if it wasn't so damned warm.

6. Ron Paul and his pothead followers
What a gigantic group of losers. They read the blogs, petition their friends, and preach the ideas. Why? Because they want to be able to smoke weed wherever and whenever they want. I don't care that you want to smoke weed all the time. I just don't want to hear about how you want to smoke weed all the time. Pick up a book or something. Reddit doesn't count as literature.

7. Google+
Wow, what an pile of shit. I don't know what's more depressing. The lack of activity or those that still post there. The only thing currently missing is a row of crack houses.

8. Graham
I didn't make any music this year. It figures. Now that I have the means to produce my own music I can't come up with anything. Every time I venture out I realize that I simply need/want more stuff to do it with. If I were to obtain those items I don't think it would make a difference.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 13

Day 13 – Your views on drugs and alcohol.

I'm a vocal opponent to illegal drug use be it the hard stuff or the weed. I do believe that pot should be legalized, rendered easy to obtain, impose legal limits, then taxed like tobacco products. That will kill the illegal market, bring the price down, and make it easier for losers to obtain their weed. Put it in the same boat as alcohol. You can't drive, work, or operate heavy machinery while under the influence.

This doesn't mean that I want to smoke it myself. I think it's adolescent and serves no purpose when used for recreation.

Regular drugs are okay too. I take over the counter stuff for acid reflux as well as ibuprofen, Tylenol, and allergy medicine.

As for the hooch, I enjoy wine, beer, and liquor but I've moved beyond the "Look at me! I'm old enough to drink!" phase. I also don't understand the point of being drunk.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 12

Day 12 – Your current relationship

I'm married. It's lush.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 11

Day 11 – What’s in your makeup bag?

I'm a man which pretty much means I don't have a makeup bag. I'd rather not make a scrotum/balls joke but I don't really have a better facsimile. I have a case for toiletries that I use when I travel. It has deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, razor, and some gunk for my hair. Exciting stuff.

Monday, December 26, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 10

Day 10 – A photo of our favorite place to eat.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 9

Day 9 – A photo of the item you last purchased.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 8

Day 8 – A song to match your mood.

I really need to eat something.

Friday, December 23, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 7

Day 7 – Your dream wedding

The one where I married my wife was pretty good.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 6

Day 6 – A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet

I don't really like the idea of pets. I have a dog that I love but there's a lot of work involved. I'd like a manservant as a pet. He could do things around the house and run errands.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 5

Day 5 – How important is education to you?

I think it's incredibly important for everybody. I'm not a huge supporter of large tuition colleges because it takes advantage of people new to the world. I constantly read stories about people with $100k plus in college loans and all they have to show for it are what I call "boutique" degrees like religion, women's studies, and philosophy. Contrary to popular belief, there are not a lot of people out there looking for a 22 year old philosopher to throw money at. If you're going to spend that kind of money, become an engineer or a doctor.

I stand behind trade school though admittedly I'll push my children towards college. Not everybody is capable of working a skilled trade since there is a lot of self starting required. I went to trade school and I had to hustle my way into corporate America. The world will always need electricians and plumbers. If you don't mind the smell of poop or being electrocuted every now and then you can work as a journeyman for around $65-$85. The only real requirements are to pay your dues. If you're willing to work harder you can become a master and make even more.

Some people choose to make their GED the peak of their education and that's fine. Somebody has to deliver my pizza.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 4

Day 4 – Your favorite photograph of your best friend.

I know it's a little cliche but my wife is my best friend.

Monday, December 19, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 3

Day 3 – Your idea of the perfect first date

January 1, 0. I considered the moment of the big bang but we're not certain when it occurred so I went with what I regard to be a pretty solid first date.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 2

Day 2 — Your favorite movie

I don't have a favorite movie so here are just a few of my favorites. I'd like to get my wife to watch them but I don't think she'd be willing to sit through any of them.

I don't remember the first time I ever saw this but it's been my favorite movie for as long as I've been a film buff.

Yes, two Terry Gilliam films. I like most movies but only the really special ones make it on my list of favorites.

I've got a soft spot for Sling Blade. It's not one of those ones that I watch over and over because I tend to get pretty mopey after watching it.

I love a good western. This is a great one.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

30 Day Challenge

Day 1 — Your favorite song

I have way too many favorite songs so like everybody else here is a very eclectic list. It's a funny thing about favorite songs. I can tell everybody and their brothers about the stuff I can like and nobody seems to care. Crappy songs on the other hand...

I'm a sucker for anything with piano and few do it as well as Ben.

I like Aimee Mann. She was great with Til Tuesday but she's even better by herself.

I know it's not a typical Graham song but this song is what I listen to with my windows up.

This is more typical of the stuff I listen to. It's so full of hooks I want to take it fishing.

I always hope that the songs I share will turn somebody onto an artist or group that I like but it never does.

My wife got me into Silverchair. I can listen to this song over and over and I do.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Disney Magic?

What do you do when you've been to the various Disney parks so many times there's no exploring left to do. You explore!

Jill and I are prepping for another Disney World trip in a couple of months and while Jill does her usual prep work I find myself wanting to get as much out of this trip as possible too.

I'm a Disneyland veteran with over one thousand visits notched on many belts. I've gained a considerable amount of weight since my first trip. Some would say that I'm Disney'ed out but I don't think that's possible. Yeah, I could probably do Disneyland blindfolded but that park is more than just a place to go. I spent almost 30 years living within earshot of those fireworks. I held an annual pass for years and went as often as I could. I've probably spent as much time there alone as I have with my wife, family or friends. It was just a comfortable place to be. It was always easy to get to so I'd grab a book, buy a coffee, and plant myself near wherever live music was being played. I may have gone on Space Mountain a few times as well just to make sure it didn't miss me.

Yes, Disneyland did become a casual hangout. I had seen every inch of the park save for the ladies rooms and a few "cast members only" areas I have yet to infiltrate so the need for adventure was replaced with the need for experience. I got to know cast members and many park regulars whose attendance dwarfed my own. Some had gone almost every day for decades! How does that famed "Disney Magic" keep firing for folks like us? It just does otherwise it wouldn't be magic.

Walking where Walt Disney walked and seeing what he built is part of the charm. I love looking at old photos of him walking down main street and pointing out the numerous things I've pointed out. I could never really comprehend what it all meant to him but I knew what it meant to me. Through the years it's matured from "You old, rich bastard. I love this place." to "Thanks for building this for us."

I'll always consider it "my park" even though I divide my time at Disneyland and Disney World now. It's not because I know it better than Disney World but more that it knows me better. The attention to detail and intimacy one experiences there will never be matched by Florida.

So why do I go to Disney World?

I think it's the experience. Some inexperienced travelers say it's the immersion of Disney World which I don't find any more encompassing than how Disneyland isolates itself (which it does better) from the outside world. Really, it's just seeing different things in a familiar setting.

I don't really get into the resorts so it's more about what's in the parks. Jill and I love closing a park almost as much as we love going on all of our favorite rides again and again. We go in with a loose plan of attack that always has room for an extra spin on whatever is nearby if we find ourselves with extra time. We don't get tied down with dining reservations because Jill's not much of a foodie and I am. It's not that I don't like the food there but it's just that I've had better food elsewhere. We selectively dine at more quick service restaurants than table service. I'd rather suck down a burger and hit up Maelstrom a third time than spend a couple hours packed in a restaurant paying too much for glorified Applebee's.

Yeah, we're ride dorks. We've mastered ride hopping at both parks. We don't have to sprint around either. By going with the flow we always find ourselves near an attraction with a short(ish) line. Going during the slow season doesn't hurt either. A successful day for us would be two or three spins on every ride we like with at least one spin on the ones we don't.

So what's the plan for February? Believe it or not there are still a few things we haven't seen at the parks. We're going to make sure our "Family Circle" style footstep path covers almost everything. If that means watching a show here and there so be it. I don't think I could ever become a Disney World expert because there's too many things I don't care to do. That doesn't mean I won't get excited when we arrive. Jill and I get better every time we go. Hopefully the folks at Disney can keep up with us.