Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The new TV is here! The new TV is here!

http://www.GlitterMaker.com/ - Glitter Graphics

Hey, pretty cool banner, huh? Amazing what you can find when you're stuck inside due to illness or weather, or in my case today, both. Hope everyone got their flu shots, because there's some nasty stuff going around.

The subject line reminded me of something that arrived last week, which I forgot to comment on. The new phone book is here! The new phone book is here! (Some will get it, some won't. Here's a reminder. Sorry about the poor quality, but I couldn't find a better one.)

So yeah, we should be hooking up the TV tonight. So far, I've gotten the batteries in the remote. Wahooo! This is the kind of thing I'd best not try to tackle on my own. Besides, it'll be a snap for "Kengineer." We can probably get it going in time for American Idol (yes, we watch).


Friday, January 26, 2007

One of life's great mysteries

I don't think I'll ever understand how a day at work can seem to drag on forever, but a day off just flies by! Here it is, after 4 PM, and I'm not ready for my day off to be over! Don't get me wrong: I got quite a bit done today, including a trip to the wonderful Dr. Herbster, our dentist, but it's sure gone by fast. Bummer.

Ken and I are all set for the big game. Today I got him an Urlacher jersey, and got myself a Manning jersey. Great sale at Kohl's, especially since I can shop in the kids' department--I got my official NFL jersey for half price!

My Burpee seeds came today. <sigh> Made me anxious for spring, although our winter hasn't been too bad this year. I'm rarin' to go on the garden--I have my timeline all laid out, when to start which seeds, when to direct sow which seeds, when to transplant seedlings...yes, I freely admit I'm a complete geek. Also an almost compulsive list-maker. But like the song says, whatever gets you through the night, right?


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Super Bowl nickname

I just read what they're calling this year's Super Bowl. The Soul Bowl. I'm not sure if I care for that or not. It seems a little disrespectful to two wonderful coaches.

Sorry I haven't written much the past few days. It seems that all I can really think about is the game. There's still over a week to go, so I'm hoping I'll have at least a couple of days where my mind doesn't dwell on it. It will probably be a fairly small window of opportunity, because while I'm finally starting to come down from last Sunday's games, I'll be gearing up soon for next Sunday. <sigh> It can be exhausting to be a fan! Ha!

Oh, hey, I don't think I mentioned our special purchase--a 42" plasma TV! Wahooo! It will be delivered in a few days. For months, we'd been talking about getting one, and it was contingent on several situations. First, if Notre Dame went undefeated in their first three games, we'd go get one (they lost their third game to Michigan). Then, it was if Notre Dame plays for the national championship, we'd go get one. It became fairly apparent soon that they weren't quite ready for a championship. Then it turned into if the Colts and Bears play in the Super Bowl, we'd get one. Well, that part actually came true...but we ordered it a week before we knew that! We ordered right after we found out they'd each be playing in the conference championship, and we figured we'd better get it ordered if it was to be here on time. That was our rationale, anyway--that's our story and we're sticking to it!

Actually, we're both psyched about it. We got the Phillips Ambilight, where the backlighting results in a sort of halo around the screen:

It's hard to tell from that picture, but it really does look neat. I foresee a lot of watching TV in a dark room in our future!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Midwest Mayhem is here!

I can't believe it.

It really is going to be the Colts and the Bears in the Super Bowl. It is going to be one of the best Super Bowls ever, in my opinion.

I've pretty much lost my voice because I was yelling so loud for the Colts. Super Bowl weekend...look out! Wow!

One down, one to go

Congrats to da Bears! It's official: they're going to the Super Bowl.

My team is coming up next, and I'm so nervous, you'd think I'm about to get squished by a 300-pound linebacker. Despite the Colts being 3-point favorites going into this, many of the analysts are saying that they don't think they'll beat the Patriots (although Coach Ditka, God love him, is saying the Colts are ready and that they're going to win it). I believe they CAN win it. They're playing at home, and they're out to prove something. I'll take the Colts by 6.

Go Colts!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Thursdays rock!

Oh boy, we love Thursdays around here! NBC has come up with a great lineup of four comedies, then "ER" (still a great show). "The Office" is my current fave, but I have to give major credit to "Scrubs" for last night's show: a musical!

It was so cheesy and fun, and in the fine tradition of stage musicals, cheesy bad fun. I'm not a huge fan of musicals--honestly, how often do you sing your remarks?--although I always enjoy them when I'm there. "Scrubs" did a great job with some catchy tunes, fine lyrics, and some real toe-tappers, all with tongue in cheek. As a microbiologist, this song really touched me...I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me. I think you'll enjoy it, too. Or should I say "two?"

Yikes, two big games this Sunday. I'm very nervous and I've had to basically not think about it during the week. But now the weekend is here and I have more time to let my mind wander. If I'm this bad on Friday, I'll be a basket case by Sunday....

Thursday, January 18, 2007

So many books, so little time

I love to read. I mean, I really, really love to read. Ken knows this, and he always gets me a lot of books for Christmas. And I'll be the first to admit that I just plain buy a lot of books. (Almost always on sale, though!) But I'm finding that I don't have quite as much time to read lately as I like, and I'm finding my current book a little slow-going. It's Imperium by Robert Harris, and I'm really enjoying it--it's about Rome and Cicero and politics, and it's written as a novel--but it's just taking me a little longer to finish than something that sucks me in like a Stephen King novel. As a consequence, my pile of books is getting a little out of hand. I keep my "To Read" pile by my side of the bed, and it's on the verge of blocking my view of my alarm clock, and it's also starting to look a little teetery.

If you look closely, you can see that the pile is not just getting tall, it's also two deep. And the thing is, I've got some great books waiting for me in there, like the new Michael Crichton, the new Dean Koontz (about Odd Thomas, a really neat character), the latest John Grisham, and the one I was really wanting, Thunderstruck by Erik Larson (I loved his book Devil in the White City). It's killing me to have all those waiting for me! But I have a fairly strict rule when it comes to reading: finish the book you're on before you start a new one. I break it occasionally, when something totally does not grab my interest, or when it's not a novel and something I can go back to easily. But I really do like this book I'm on, so I'll finish it before climbing Book Mountain.

Then I have to decide which book to start next! Oh, what a wonderful dilemma. I'm leaning towards the Dean Koontz book, Brother Odd, although considering all the political brouhaha, I might have to go with The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama.

Nah, Barack can wait while I enjoy Odd Thomas. Anyone who gets visits from the ghost of Elvis is okay by me. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ode V (Hint: It's an anagram)

Cousin Shane was over for a visit a couple of weeks ago, and we got to talking about music. He had sent me a YouTube video of Devo's "Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA," and I think he sent me one of "Mongoloid," too. Anyhoo, that was all it took to send me on a Devo binge. I loved 'em back in the '80's, of course, but it had been a little while since I listened to them. Man, I'd forgotten how great they are! And what true originals, too, and so twisted and funny. I took a couple of CD's into work, and someone made the comment, "I'm hearing a bunch of Devo...." They have a very unmistakable sound. My personal favorite is probably "Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammy," but I have plenty that I just love. What does it say about me that I know many of the lyrics? Hmm.

Listening to Devo gave me a bit of a flashback. I loved "Miami Vice," and one of my favorite scenes, and one that always stuck in my mind, was Crockett and Tubbs roaring down the streets of Miami in their Lamborghini while Devo's "Going Under" (another favorite Devo song) was playing. When I got my '95 Mustang, I remember driving in Indianapolis at night while that song was playing, and the streetlights were reflecting off the car. It was so neat! Call it "Indy Vice." Ha! And just to show you that you really can find just about anything on YouTube, check it out! Misspelling and all.

Monday, January 15, 2007

One step closer....

...to Midwest Mayhem!

That's right, both the Colts and the Bears are playing for their division championships next week. This could get crazy. Of course, there are a couple of teams that might have something to say about those games, the Saints and the Patriots. There have sure been some great games in the playoffs so far. I'm getting nervous already about next week's game with the Colts and Patriots. At least they're playing in Indy this time. No excuses about the cold, the snow, etc. They'll be playing in the nice, cozy RCA Dome, and believe me...it can get very loud in there. I just hope the defense that has been playing the past couple of games shows up. They've been inspired!

Oh, Ken informed me that since I put a nice Colts logo up here the other day, I should put up da Bears logo, too. So in the interest of fair play and equal time, here you go, honey!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

These guys are killin' me!

Oh, man. Colts win, but it wasn't pretty. Not a single touchdown, not just for the Colts, but for either team! Thank God for Vinatieri. No one was giving the Colts a chance against the Ravens, but the defense stepped up for the second game in a row and made the difference. And then there's Vinatieri, solely responsible for every single point for the Colts. Give that man a raise. Please. Just keep him on the team!

Another game tonight (a good one, Saints vs. Eagles), then da Bears and Seahawks early tomorrow, and Pats and Chargers in the late game. Holy moley, great games, great teams. I can hardly stand it, and I can hardly stand the tension. Will my Colts make it? Will Ken's Bears make it? AGH!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

"Armed and Famous"

Okay, I'll admit it. We watched it. But let me explain.

First, the show is the latest in the reality show lineup. Its premise is that a small group of minor celebrities trains to become police officers in a small city. I never would have been interested in such a silly concept, but come to find out, it's set in Muncie, Indiana, home of my alma mater, Ball State University. Of course, it got me all misty over my college days--what a great time! Here's the complex I lived in, Lafollette. I lived in Mysch Hall:

Wow, we had fun! (And I got a good education, too.)

Before the show started, Ken told me, "You do realize that they're going to make fun of Muncie and Indiana in general, right?" I said, "Yeah, I suppose, but I think it might be okay." Well, sure enough, they made fun of Indiana being such a hick state, and sure, they made fun of some of the hick residents. But you know what? It did turn out okay. A couple of the minor celebs were Erik Estrada (remember Ponch on "CHiPS"?) and Jack Osbourne, and believe it or not, LaToya Jackson. Amazingly enough, they all seemed to take it very seriously, and seemed genuinely proud to make it through a brief training session and then to ride in the cop cars and be semi-cops. Even better, the Muncie police force came across as really great and committed to doing a good job. I was so pleasantly surprised, and yep, I'll watch it again.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Gators got it

Wow, Gators kicked some butt last night. I didn't make it through the whole game, but I woke up a few times to check the score. Last time I saw the score, it was 30-14 at the end of the third. When I woke up next, the Gators had won it, but I didn't hear the final score till this morning. Whew. I'll chalk some of it up to the Buckeyes having 50-some days since they last played, but I don't think you can blame it all on that. Florida was just freakishly fast, and they absolutely deserve the championship. Cousin Robert and Cousin Steven, the Gator alums in the family, must be on Cloud Nine right now! Congrats to them and to the team.

While I'm speaking of football, I don't think I'm the only one who has thought of this. Have you noticed the cool Cablecam they use on Fox? It's the camera that hangs over the field and gets some neat overhead shots:

I know it's suspended on cables, but it always looks to me like it's flying over the field, and it makes me chuckle every time. But does it remind you of anything? Does the name Nomad ring a bell? Check him out:

Yep, it's Nomad from the Star Trek episode "The Changeling." If you recall, Spock does a mindmeld with the thing to basically explode its brain. So every time I see Cablecam when I'm watching football, I have to say, "I...am...Nomad." It amuses me, if no one else.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Whew! On to Round 2

I'll be the first to admit that I was having a bad feeling about the Colts-Chiefs game. I don't like to doubt my teams, but their recent history of poor performances and Notre Dame's tanking in the Sugar Bowl really had me wondering. Good outcome, though, and a good win for the Colts. Joseph Addai continues to amaze me. The second game, Seahawks and Cowboys, was also a blast to watch! Good stuff. (I'm glad the Seahawks won.)

I have a neat new discovery. I was grocery shopping the other day and found a new brew in the beer aisle. This caught my eye:

How could I not buy that one? Then I saw another one called Wingman, an amber ale for Ken, and come to find out, both are brewed in South Bend, at a place called Nine G Brewing Company! How cool! And even better, they have a neat story. Check out their website, because it's worth a look. Oh, and their beers are very tasty. I'd love to see them open up the place for tours, etc. What a fun discovery!

Friday, January 5, 2007


Whoops! I can't believe it's been four days since I updated last, but here's the deal. On Tuesday, my day off, I spent a lot of time cleaning (more later) then had a nice visit with Cousin Shane. On Wednesday, it was back to work, followed by a brief nap so I could stay up and watch the Sugar Bowl (more later). On Thursday, work again and extreme fatigue from staying up late to watch the game. And here we are at Friday! I have the weekend off, thank God.

When I cleaned house on Tuesday, I actually felt depressed because the place was so filthy. I still haven't finished what I need to do (i.e., vacuuming), but at least I got things dusted. It's amazing how the dust piles up, and it also seems like we're Cobweb City. I really did feel awful about what a terrible housekeeper I've been, but some of the women at work told me some encouraging stories about their dusting problems, and Ken said I shouldn't agonize over it and that I should move forward. All good advice, and I felt better the next day. I should be able to get stuff done this weekend, too.

Well, the Sugar Bowl. Wasn't that special? Notre Dame didn't just get beat by LSU, they got an asskickin'. LSU definitely deserved to win, so I can't say anything bad about them (in fact, I believe I mentioned that I had a warm spot in my heart for them because of their long recovery from the storms). I honestly don't know what went wrong, but the season is over and we'll see what happens next year. We're losing some fine seniors, like Brady Quinn and Jeff Sarmardzija, but it looks like Tom Zbikowski might stick around for his fifth year of eligibility. It was literally a painful game to watch. They've got a long ways to go if they want to return to football prominence, and that's the sad truth.

Now I need to see what the Colts do tomorrow. They blew a chance at a first-round bye, but let's see if Peyton and the rest of the guys want it bad enough. Ol' Mister Laser Rocket Arm needs to get busy and win a ring! Love ya, Peyton, you've still got the best arm in the neighborhood!



Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year, Ya'll

Hope everyone had a safe and fun New Year's Eve! I had to work the weekend and New Year's Day, but no big deal. I think you reach a certain point where New Year's Eve is just another night. I think I reached that point a few years ago!

Ken and I have been watching lots of football. And wow, what great games! I guess when you get down to all the bowl games, the teams are usually fairly decent, so anything can happen. We've already seen some amazing upsets and comebacks. The BCS bowls should be just as good. Notre Dame is playing LSU in the Sugar Bowl. Obviously, I want ND to win, but how can you not have a little warm place in your heart for LSU after what the state went through in '05? I'll still be cheering for the Irish, though. It will be neat to see all the scenes from New Orleans during the broadcast.

I had a nice surprise when I got home from work yesterday. Ken asked me to go downstairs and look at the window. I thought, oh man, did a deer crash through it or something? No, it was actually my mini-greenhouse sitting in front of the window that he wanted me to look at--he got me growlights! They're quite bright, and they raise the temperature a few degrees, so it should be perfect. I can hardly wait to get the seeds going, but I have to wait until the end of March! AAAGGHHH!