In my last update, I said that I was watching season 1 of Lost and probably wouldn’t continue any further because I didn’t have time for it. As I write this, I’m currently watching the 2nd to last episode in season 5. I’ve accomplished very little in the past couple of weeks because of my nonstop Lost watching. It’s been fun, but I’m glad it’s nearly over. I’ll probably start watching season 6 on Hulu each week as it comes out. At least 1 hour of TV per week won’t waste much of my time.

Not many interesting things have happened to me yet this decade. Last week, Snopes disproved my fake ATM stickers. Here’s the link to it. I think it’s great that someone was worried about it. They posted a picture of one they found with the message, “This is so scary. If true, it may be a warning sign about freedom in America.” I bet they’re disappointed that the sticker is fake since it means they can’t be upset at the government. As a result, signhacker.com has been getting a lot of new subscribers and comments.

Last night Jessica and I drove 90 minutes to Portland, just to see a movie at the Hollywood theater. I’ve been waiting to see Mystery Team (trailer here and here) for over a year now. It was even better than I expected. Funniest movie I’ve seen in a really long time. There was even a Q&A afterwards with a couple of the creators of the movie. One of them was Duncan, the boy genius! If I didn’t have my kids this weekend, I’d probably attempt to drag another friend or two to see it. Unfortunately it’s not kid-friendly enough to take my kids to it.

I noticed a friend on Facebook this week joined a group called Geeky Oregon so I joined it too. Last night after the movie, we went to a Geeky Oregon event, which was a karaoke bar. The karaoke was the most messed up karaoke I’ve ever heard. A few Jonathan Coulton songs, Rick Astley and songs from various Disney movies like Little Mermaid and Aladdin. I even sang an re: Your Brains duet with Nate. Me and Jessica kept turning off the karaoke TV with my keychain remote during peoples songs. They eventually rolled out an old 80’s TV to replace it which was impervious to my remote. www.geekyoregon.com

I think that’s about it for this year so far. Not sure what me and the kids are gonna do today. It’s sort of nice out, so maybe we can do some Geocaching. It’s been awhile since we’ve done any of that. But first, time to go watch my last episode of Lost.

Bob Gale

A couple decades ago, some guy named Bob Gale wrote these cool movies I like called Back to the Future. He didn’t do much else that I found interesting after that, other than the BTTF cartoon series, but I never watched many of those.

Last night, though, Kate and I were flipping around Netflix and saw some movie called Interstate 60. The description sounded interesting so we turned it on. And holy crap, it’s got Doc Brown in it! And Marty McFly! And then we see that it’s written and directed by Bob Gale. Michael J. Fox had just a small part in it, but he was actually yelling and cursing and being funny. It was great. The whole movie was just bizarre and really funny.

Yesterday I drove to Eugene for the giant flea market, thinking I might find some cool gifts for the kids. I found something awesome, which I can’t mention because they might see this page. I also got myself an army coat for $5.00 and a jigsaw with a broken blade for $2.00. The jigsaw guy said if I bought it, he would give me a free grahmcracker cookie. And he did. Then he tried to sell me this bulky tape recorder from the 70’s or 80’s, calling it a spy recorder. He was telling me I just need to put a couple D-cells in it and I could hide it anywhere and record things. It was so tempting, but I passed.

Aside from that awesome guy, I hate how those flea market vendors stare you down while you’re at their table, looking like they’re going to die of hunger if you don’t buy their stuff. I can’t stand to hang out at some tables for too long because they’re just LOOKING at me.

Saturday I went to the Albany tree lighting and parade, then to a Mexican restaurant to eat with Kate, James and some other girl.

I’m downloading all the BTTF Animated Series now, since I just noticed that Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis wrote them all. I remember not being that impressed with it in the 90’s, but it might be fun to try and watch a few of them.

Halloween Weekend

Friday: Jessica and I headed to Salem to go to a haunted house. On the way, decided to give Rocky Horror a try too, so called Kate and got directions to it. Before we got there, Angela called to tell us both shows were sold out. Stopped by a bar for food and drinks. Left after 1 drink cause the food menus sucked. Went to McMenamins instead to eat, then to The Nightmare Factory for the haunted house.

It was a standard haunted house – giant maze with people jumping out at you all the time. We took a few deliberate wrong turns, just for fun. Ended up in a back hallway at one point, where we weren’t supposed to be, and could stick our hands out through the walls and scare people. We ended up coming out of a hole under a desk/table thing. Found an empty room later that we hung out in for about 15 minutes, jumping out at people as they came in. After the haunted house we went to a bar in Albany and listened to horrible karaoke renditions of old country songs and played tons of pool.

Saturday: Tried to sleep in, but failed. I don’t know why I can never sleep very late. Hung out around the house most of the day with the kids. Made some Halloween cookies around noon and they ended up being our lunch. At 6pm, they dressed for trick-or-treating and we drove to a neighborhood that Jessica recommended. It was awesome – hundreds of kids walking around in the streets. Much more active than our own neighborhood. Went around a few blocks there, then headed home. Would have stayed longer, but Emily hasn’t been feeling that great. Left her at home while me and Payton hit up all the houses in our own neighborhood.

Got quite a few submissions these past couple of days for the PLA pumpkin carving contest. I’m surprised at how much effort some people put into it.

Sunday: Went to Salem to see Up at a ridiculously cheap movie theater, only to find out that it was sold out. So we bought tickets to Harry Potter 6 instead, which started an hour later. I hadn’t seen it yet, but the kids had. They both really wanted to see it again. The theater was awesome! There were long tables in ever aisle to set your food and stuff on, which meant tons of feet space. In the very back aisles there were reclining chairs instead of movie theater seats. There was a full bar in the lobby. The theater does all kinds of non-movie things like football games and comedy shows. Definitely gotta go back there someday.

Since we had an hour to kill, we walked across the street and I noticed we were in front of the same bar Jessica and I were at on Friday. Walked over to an ice cream place and hung out for about 30 minutes.

As long as I’m doing several days of updating here, I should mention Wednesday. I didn’t have much food in the house and didn’t feel like going shopping, so we went out to eat at Applebees. Turns out Wednesday is kids night there. You’d think that would just mean low prices for kids food, but not here. They had a magician going around to all the tables, doing tricks for everyone. He did tricks for us as we sat there and waited for a table, keeping us there for an extra minute or two after our table was ready. Then he came over and did card tricks while we were trying to eat food. It was annoying, but funny. They also had a giant table set up to decorate mini pumpkins, which the kids did for about 20 minutes after we ate. We’ll definitely have to try Wednesdays there again someday.

Man, xkcd.com has been doing amazing stuff lately. But that image up there, that’s just insane. Click on it to view the full sized version of it. I want to know how long those took him. And the Primer one cracked me up – I just happened to see that movie last year when Netflix recommended it to me.

Summer 2009

I’ve been busy. It’s been a long time, but I think I spent about a week in Idaho earlier in the summer. I’m sure if I did, we had lots of fun and did incredibly evil things. Oh yeah, I got that tattoo then. The Spessas visited my house for a week too, either before or after that. All these trips I’ve taken have just kind of run together. There was Defcon at Vegas, which I wrote about in the previous entry, then maybe a week where I didn’t do anything. Then Illinois for 2 weeks to visit with my parents and other people. Immediately after that, Spessa visited me in Oregon for a couple of weeks.

Me and the kids took an Amtrak to Portland to catch our plane to Illinois, mostly just because Amtrak is cool. Except when it’s running late which is just about always. They only got us into Portland about 40 minutes late, though. We stayed in a hotel overnight since our flight left at 5am.

I know I’ve probably said this before, but flying is just a huge scam now. It sucks. They charge you for every little thing they can possibly think of now. I had to pay an extra $20 to check just one bag. They don’t even give you the first one for free. Emily wanted a blanket on the plane so we asked for one and they told us we’d have to pay $7 for it. Which I refused, because that’s just the kind of dad I am. They started all this scaminess when gas prices were around $4.00/gallon, but it’s been down below $2.00 plenty of times since then and they’re still doing it. They’ll never stop, now that people are used to it.

I can’t remember everything that happened in Illinois, but there was a day of City Museum for me and the kids. I think we only spent one day at the pool, because the weather got too cold near the end of our visit. We saw District 9. The kids and I walked to BP one night for Slushies and they were out of napkins (Payton needed one) so I asked the clerk for one and she handed me a used, wadded up napkin that was sitting on the counter next to her. Instead of demanding an unused napkin, I just laughed at Payton instead.

I did the Phone Show 3 times from Illinois, but mostly just played music since my microphone didn’t work very good. And I moved phonelosers.org to a new server, along with a bunch of my other sites. I’ve been meaning to do that for months now since the old one kept crashing. So far it’s been over a month and no crashes.

While Spessa was here we took a trip to the coast. On the way back, we saw a roadsign flashing something about construction, so we pulled over and Spessa spent about 40 minutes working at the controls to change it. It had a password on it, but she was persistent and managed to figure out what it was by guessing. We couldn’t think of anything brilliant to write on it, so she wrote HACK NAKED, which is the slogan for PaulDotCom. They posted a picture of it on their site and we also posted it on signhacker.com.

I was actually wearing a HACK NAKED t-shirt that day, but we didn’t think to snap a picture of me standing in front of the hacked sign. It was so nuts because it was in the middle of the day and it was a very busy road. Spessa was sitting behind the sign, but could still be seen by traffic and she kept getting up to open this giant door on top of the sign to reset the power. For 40 minutes. I hung out in front of my car, playing on Facebook on my phone and hoping to divert attention away from her and onto me.

Me and her also went to some casino last weekend and gambled. I normally hate gambling, but I played $20 on blackjack. I had it up to $30 before losing it all. We saw Extract and Inglorious Basterds. We saw a couple of live shows at local bars, played pool and drank too much. We did 2 Phone Shows together and went to the state fair in Salem. I think that’s it.

It’s been an overwhelmingly busy and fun summer for me and so far I’m really enjoying the complete isolation of this weekend. I’m hoping to barely leave the house and just work on projects that I haven’t had time for in the past couple of months. Last night I put together a commercial for Sign Hacker, which is here. I’ve got two other video projects that I really want to finish up song and I’m working on another song and have ideas for 2 others. I wish I could just be alone for an entire week and get all this done. I really need to clean this house up too.

The original 1980’s Harry Potter movie

Back in the 1980’s I was channel surfing and came across a movie on cable that was just starting called Troll. It was pretty bizarre and was about this Troll who was systematically taking over each unit of an apartment building in an attempt to rule the world. Something reminded me of it recently so I put it in my Netflix queue and the kids and I watched it. And it turned out the main character’s name was a boy named Harry Potter.

Not only was his name Harry Potter, but his name was stated quite clearly many times throughout the movie as he battled trolls and talking plants and befriended a witch that lived upstairs from him. So I decided to throw a little more confusion into the world by editing together all of those parts into a small collection of clips and put them on YouTube, claiming that it’s common knowledge that J.K Rowling based her Harry Potter books off of the original Harry Potter movie from the 1980’s. Here’s the result:

I blew 2 or 3 hours on this last night, just to hopefully confuse a few people before YouTube yanks it down for copyright violations. I’m truly a dedicated jerk! If you’re too lazy to read the description I put on YouTube for it, here it is:

I caught this on TV a few weeks ago and decided to Tivo it. I never realized that J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books were based on an early 1980’s movie by the same name.

The story is quite different, taking place in an apartment building called Hogwarts. Harry is trained in magic by a neighbor lady named Eunice McGonagall. Harry’s parents are actually alive in this one and Harry’s father is named Harry too. His father went to a university called Gryffindor and you can see Gryffindor’s logo stamped on this ratty old hat he wears throughout the movie. (Notice he wears Gryffindor colors throughout the whole movie too.) Harry also has a sister who gets kidnapped by Voldemort. Voldemort is this giant muppet who he battles in the end.

Pretty interesting to watch and see what the original vision of the Harry Potter universe looked like! Look for it on cable TV, because it appears that it’s never been on DVD and the VHS is out of print.

Terminator 4: The Quest For More Money

Saturday we saw a couple movies. Terminator Salvation first, which I was kind of disappointed in. Pretty boring storytelling, even if there was lots of neat action. Then we snuck into Night at the Museum 2. I liked it, but not quite as much as the first one. When NatM didn’t start for 10 minutes after it was scheduled, I finally called up the movie theater (I worked there 13 years ago and for some reason I still remember their phone number) and said, “Your projectionist has fallen asleep. Could you have someone start up Night at the Museum?” and he says sure. Then I said, “Oh, also…there’s a guy in that theater who is talking on his cell phone when he’s not supposed to. Could you ask him to stop?” The guy responded with something like “In which theater is he?” and I said, “In this one! I’m talking about me! I’m kidding with you!” and hung up on him. Payton found it amusing.

Today we went on a hike and ended up finding about 5 Geocaches along the way. Kate was there and so was Dude and his family. One of the Geocaches was hanging from a very high tree branch and impossible to reach with just your hands. To even get that far you had to walk across a fallen log to reach the tree that it’s in. Dude is coming back with some kind of 8′ pole/hook combination. I’m not that dedicated though.

Kids and I went swimming this afternoon. Emily told me she’d tried to call me from the pool phone while I was away, but the phone wouldn’t dial. I tried to prove her wrong, but realized she was right because the keypad didn’t respond to anything. So I was able to pass on a bit of wisdom (aka show off) by showing them how switchhook pulse dialing worked (You tap the switch hook quickly for each number you dial.) and I was able to dial another extension. Some boy who was hanging out with them thought it was the coolest thing he’d ever seen and immediately started dialing random numbers that way. As we left and shut the door, we could hear him pounding on the switch hook from the other side of the wall.

Cat Trek Gym Machines

I made a new post for signhacker.com today which features wonderful pictures such as this one:

Been cat sitting a lot this weekend, which is fun just for the change of scenery on either side of my laptop screen. Saw Star Trek last night with Angela. And wow. It was awesome. The only other Star Trek movie I’ve seen is Generations in 1994 and only because I worked at the movie theater. And I really liked that one, but this one was great. It makes me want to put every Star Trek movie ever made on my Netflix queue. So I did.

For some reason I just never got into Star Trek. As a kid, I would come across the 60’s version occasionally on TV and I would try to watch it but I thought it looked stupid. I caught just a few episodes of Generations while it was on TV and thought it looked neat, but not neat enough to watch it every week. I’ve probably seen less than 10 full episodes of that. Just about every friend I had in the early 90’s was a Trekkie and most of them would insist that Star Trek is the kind of thing I would like and that I’m crazy not to watch it. Guess I was just too busy being homeless or obsessing over BBSes back then.

In 1997 I got into Voyager for a short time, mostly because Colleen worked in the evenings and I was at home with Emily on Sunday nights and nothing better was on. I got to see the whole 7 of 9 drama unfold, from the very beginning, during my month or two of watching that. I think BNF must have happened soon after that, which completely killed my interest in everything that wasn’t BNF, including Voyager.

Tomorrow night is The Phone Show. Listen to it!

I’m listening to Per Gessle’s Son Of A Plumber this evening. It’s good stuff and much different than his current Silly Really hit, which I’ve been loving for a couple of weeks now. I need to get his new album. murd0c tells me that he used to be one of the guys who sang in Roxette, which is an 80’s band I used to like. But murd0c is a filthy liar, so it’s probably not true.

Camera phone dump 2009

Today I plugged my phone into my laptop to sync some music and decided to delete/move some of the pictures while it was hooked up. Here’s a few of my favorite grainy pictures. This first one is a smoke shop in Corvallis that I was walking by earlier this month.

Here’s my downstairs bathroom light fixture containing red green and blue lights. Only the blue light is more like a black light, so that throws the whole idea of turning RBG into white light out the window. But it still makes cool effects when you’re peeing.

The kids and I were driving in Corvallis and noticed identical shoes coming out of both windows. Look closely and you’ll see there’s feet out the other back window too, but his shoes don’t match. I don’t think the driver had his feet up, but it’s hard to see him.

Here’s a personalized plate we found at Albertsons. I’m wondering if the wife got it for him during a bitter divorce.

This one I took this one a couple days ago in Salem. I asked the guy getting in if I could snap a picture and he said sure and got out of the way for me. He was, as you’d expect, pretty weird.

I didn’t do much this weekend. The kids weren’t around, so I went to Salem to do some shopping and returning. Yesterday I vacuumed the house. Man, that was exciting. I had to dump the vacuum bin 5 times! On Saturday I got up at 5am to do a phone mob, which I turned into a PLA Radio yesterday. I only lasted 90 minutes into it, then went back to bed for a couple more hours. I watched Step Brothers which I didn’t expect much from but ended up LOLing at a lot. I also watched an old 70’s movie called Paper Moon which was really good. Oh yeah, Payton was here for a few hours on Saturday morning and we watched Stephen King’s Christine together. I hadn’t seen it in at least 10 years and it was fun to watch again. Payton liked it too. Geez, I watch too many movies.

A guy from an online “radio” station called Party 934 contacted me a few weeks ago about doing a weekly show on their station. He said I can do pretty much anything I want so I said sure and I’m doing an hour per week. They’re licensed to play actual music and insist that I play at least 4 songs per hour. He says it’s a terrestrial station too and goes out on 102.5 FM in the Hudson Valley in New York. I’m feeling a little skeptical on that part, though, since I can’t find any records on that and last week when I did the show I couldn’t get anyone to call in. It is the middle of the night there, though. From 2am to 3am.

I’m calling it The Phone Show since I’m sure whatever I do with the show will somehow involve phones. I set up a couple computers so that I can take calls on the air with it too, which seems to be working fairly well. (Thanks, Darin Abernathy, for helping me test!) And they gave me a really neat program made for broadcasting online stations. I guess tonight will be the first official show, since I’ve actually announced it on here and on phonelosers.org now. I haven’t prepared a bit for it and I have no idea what I’m going to do on it. It can be listened to on party934.com Monday nights from 11pm PST to midnight. Which is 2am to 3am Tuesday mornings EST. What a horrible time to do a show! The official page for it is www.phonelosers.org/phoneshow but there’s nothing on there yet.

Mark Twains

Kristine sent me an awesome wooden Mark Twain to keep my existing Mark Twain company. As you can see, it was just in the nick of time since he was getting pretty lonely and hitting the scotch. (Yeah, I know, I’m hilarious!) Thanks, Kristine!!

This weekend the kids and I saw Witch Mountain. It was dumb.

Family Ties

No kids this weekend. Hiked on Saturday morning, then spent the rest of the weekend at home doing pretty much nothing. The most unproductive weekend I’ve had in a long time. Watched a lot of Netflix on TV. Somehow I got the idea that Across the Universe would be a good movie. I think I lasted for maybe 20 minutes of that. I wasn’t expecting it to be a musical. Not that I have anything against musicals, but this was awful. I also watched Jenn’s movie Spaced Out, which was great if you like movies about anal probes. It was fun to watch once, and about a million times better than Across the Universe. (I’ve been writing wacky reviews for Spaced Out on imdb, Amazon and Netflix. Plus I added some fake trivia and goofs on imdb, which haven’t been approved yet.)

Somehow last night I ended up watching Family Ties on Netflix. It’s a show from the 80’s I loved which I haven’t seen since the 80’s. Usually when I attempt to rediscover some old show from the 80’s, I can’t believe how awful it is and that I ever liked it. But Family Ties was great, despite that God-awful intro song where the hippies sing about how much they suck at math and English. I watched about 6 episodes. And I was really surprised to find out that Alex P. Keaton was friends with George McFly a year before Back to the Future came out. He had a small part, but it was cool to see them together in something else.

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