Entries from September 2006 ↓

[BlogEntry] I have no luck with phlebotomists

Being on maintenance medication means regular trips to the doctor to get bloodwork done. It's quite the annoyance, not because I mind getting stuck with the needle by someone who literally has no medical training, but because I hate being late for work.

Last time I did this I met up with a member of Oprah's army who, I'm quite sure, would have stabbed James Frey on the spot for sullying Oprah's good book recommending name. This is the woman who gave me the memorable quote, "You shouldn't make Oprah mad, she's very powerful."

This time, arriving at 8:30 like I always do, I'm told that she doesn't get in until 9, and that's it's always been that way. Lies. And that she leaves at 5, too, guaranteeing that I have to miss a good chunk of my work day to get this done. When she finally calls me in I sit in the chair in silence (no small talk or anything from this one) while she stares at the computer. Wiggles the mouse. Straightens the monitor. Looks confused. Presses the space bar.

Meanwhile I'm waiting. And waiting. And she's doing her little thing. Space bar. Mouse. Monitor. Repeat.

After maybe 3 minutes of this she wheels her chair out the door and shouts down the hall, "Does Terry turn this off before she goes home at night?"

Three people, including my primary care physician whom I know to be a kindred geek, appear. Must be a slow morning. My doctor reaches under the desk and TURNS THE COMPUTER ON.

I've been waiting here now for several minutes for the privilege of getting blood drawn from my body by someone who DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO TELL IF A COMPUTER IS TURNED ON.
Wouldn't you think that that's a pre-requisite before jamming needles into people? I bet they didn't check to see if she knew how to tie her shoes before she got her vampire certificate, because that's just one of those things that every three year old should know how to do. You know, like TURNING THE COMPUTER ON.

[BlogEntry] Dancing With The Stars Sept 26 : Len goes nuts!

I'm not really going to have the time or energy to recap every episode of the show this season. Mostly because I just don't really have any favorites. None of these people mean anything to mean, they're carbon copies of previous seasons. Jerry Springer is fun to cheer for, especially with that whole "I want to reach the waltz level because I want to dance with my daughter at her wedding" thing, but how's he doing anything that George Harrison and John O'Hurley didn't already do?

But this week it got good. Mario Lopez, intent once again on "entertaining" the audience in a way that apparently does not involve ballroom dancing, breaks the rules by breaking hold in the middle of the tango, and Len just lays the smackdown on him. "You're off your head!" he says to him. "Which one of you had that idea? It was fine up until then but when you broke in the middle it was done for me." Carrie Ann even goes so far as to say "You'll go farther in this competition if you follow the rules." Carrie and Bruno both give an 8 with the comment, "It should have been a 10." Len is too pissed to speak and just serves up a 6.

But then Joey Lawrence goes and does the same thing, complete with a lift and a random handstand in the middle. Len tells him that he's "going all Mario" and Joey also ends up with a 6 for his trouble.

That was the most fun of the night. Look for Sara Evans to get the encore dance, since putting her in a cowboy hat and boots loosened her up enough to get a good dance out of her. She jokes that each week she'll wear a different cowboy hat, which I'd actually like to see. Look for Willa to be gone, because even though she's actually one of the better dancers, the audience just doesn't seem to like her. Her interview where she said "I'm working so hard" about 15 times does not help her personality, though.

[BlogEntry] Men from Maine

Heard this joke on the radio this morning and it bears repeating. Apparently it's a repeat, as they said "New episodes begin next week." But I'd never heard it.

Three people are out on a hunting trip. Dot is at camp while Bob and Dan have gone off into the woods. Suddenly two shots ring out! After a few minutes, Dan enters the camp dragging an 8point buck behind him.

"Great shot, Dan!" says Dot.

"Bad news!" says Dan, "I accidentally shot Bob."

"What? And you left him out there in the woods, bleeding, just so you could bring the buck back?"

"Well," says Dan, "It was a tough decision. But then I figured, nobody's gonna try to steal Bob."

[BlogEntry] Scrubs : Carla broke her pelvis :-/

Scrubs Actress Recovering After Fall : People.com

Well, this is never good for the shooting schedule. Judy Reyes, who plays Carla on our favorite show, fell at home and broke her pelvis. Apparently she didn't even realize it until she got to the set and was in too much pain to ignore it.

The article goes on to say that she'll be on crutches for awhile and that where they can they'll shoot around her. No word on when the season premiere is supposed to be :), but given that they're shooting now and most other shows have had their premiere, I'm not hopeful it'll be soon.

[BlogEntry] What's the buzz, tell me what's happening?

Went to see Jesus Christ Superstar this weekend. I do like this play – this will make the third or fourth time I've seen it (including once when we flew to New York on a whim especially to do so). This time was at the North Shore Music Circus, which I think is in Beverly, Mass. Somewhere around there.

Loved it. Really and truly thought it was an excellent show. Different enough from the others I'd seen that there was stuff to watch and appreciate, without just sitting back and enjoying the music. As always my opinion of the structure is the same — the best part is Judas' big number at the end. I don't really need to see another 10-15 minutes of Jesus hanging on the cross being tortured.

Neat parts in this production that I hadn't seen before:

  • Several of Jesus' disciples, including Judas, were wearing Islamic outfits, including the headpiece which I want to call a koffi or something but I'm sure I'm spelling it incorrectly. I thought that was an interesting statement on the whole "Can't we all just get along" thing. Then again maybe I only thought that's what they were and I'm reading too much into it, which would be an interesting statement unto itself :).
  • The children's chorus. Whenever the "good crowd" was on stage, there were many children present. During Simon's number — you know, the one when they're whipping themselves up into a frenzy and Simon is telling Jesus "You know, you could get them to march on Rome if you wanted to…." there's a neat little bit where Jesus looks first at the adults, realizes the bad path they're going down…but then he looks at the children and realizes that they're mimicking everything the adults are doing. I liked that. It illustrated that "This thing has started and I've lost control of it" idea that runs throughout the play.

    Although it's not part of this play, can I mention something about the New York production I saw? In this scene in particular it was fascinating because as Simon was singing to Jesus, in the background behind them all of the followers were pulling guns and ammunition out of big chests in the middle of the stage. So when Jesus turns around he sees all of his people are now armed and ready for blood. Drove the point home nicely.

  • Judas' final number was accompanied by lots of "media", including images of Jesus meeting Oprah, Jesus as People's Sexiest Man Alive, and so on. Of course, all those comic shots were interspersed with shots of him beaten, bloodied and crucified, so it was a pretty disturbing montage.
  • During the 39 lashes, many of Jesus' followers – men and women alike – kept throwing themselves in front of the whip in an attempt to save him. It never worked, of course, and they got whipped for their trouble before being pulled away by the guards. But we got to see that his people didn't abandon him, and were trying to save him right up until the end.

Overall an excellent show. Didn't love their King Herod. And Judas death scene was a little too conservative, since we got to sit and watch him fumble for his harness to connect to the noose before taking the dive – and he kept one hand on the noose and one hand on the harness at all times. Which would have been fine if there was any danger, but all he did was step into a trapdoor that lowered him, it's not like he was being dangled by the noose at any time.

Perhaps the most fascinating part of the whole show is that you don't really need to believe in Christianity to like the show. There's never a point at which they say "Up, Jesus is the son of God." The entire play is about this guy who thinks he is, and the path that his followers take and how they misinterpret what he was trying to do. It's just that figuring out how to end such a play is tough. End it before he dies and you miss the real impact. Go past that and you might be able to actually make a happy ending about how people really did learn something and didn't just pick up with their lives as if nothing had happened, but then you have to decide what to do about the whole resurrection side of the story.

[BlogEntry] Betting on Toy Futures : TMX Elmo

Ok, the new Elmo is out, and there's video available for what he does. Basically you keep tickling him until he does the robotic equivalent of peeing himself. Think I'm kidding? Watch the video…

It's interesting from a robotics perspective. The hand slapping is stupid looking, but the ingenuity of having him bend forward and then whip himself backward as a way of falling over is neat. He doesn't look especially cuddly, but none of the robotic toys do. I can't see my kids insisting on carrying Elmo around with them when we go places.

However, that can't stop one from asking the question of whether to buy TMX Elmo anyway. Will this be the next big thing? Will he be selling for $2000 on eBay come Christmas time? Is $40 now a good investment? It's an interesting call. I could buy two of them now, and then if they skyrocket in price, sell them before the holidays, and if they don't, just give them to the kids. Decisions, decisions. (Actually I see that they're already long gone at $40, Amazon is selling them in the shops for a minimum of $100. I guess that answers that question!)

[BlogEntry] Scrubs: Zach Braff Uncensored!

TVGuide has an interview with Zach Braff up! Some highlights:

  • His new movie, The Last Kiss, is "much more of a drama" than Garden State. That worries me a bit, because I don't recall laughing at Garden State at all.
  • Sarah Chalke is tone deaf, which should make for scary moments on their upcoming musical episode. Everybody else apparently can sing ok.
  • He's not decided whether he's leaving, simply that it is now "up in the air". I assume that means contract negotiations. Then again he goes on to say that "there's a bunch of variables that would need to be in place" for him to continue, which sounds like a cop out.
  • They're trying to introduce the Arrested Development characters onto the show, starting with David Cross. I never watched AD so I have no idea if this is a good thing.
  • They're remaking Fletch, the movie, and apparently Zach will star (again, "up in the air").

So there you go. Still not a new episode of Scrubs, but at least we get some gossip. Is everybody gonna go see his movie? I hear it's got a "different" ending that's going to upset people. I wonder if somebody dies.

[BlogEntry] Scrubs Premiere : Well, in syndication anyway

The bad news is that Scrubs is probably going to sit on the shelf until midseason like it did last year. The good news, though, is that after 5 years it's finally in syndication, so we can stop watching Friends and Will&Grace reruns and start watching Scrubs reruns.

Thanks to PamelaJaye over in the comments who tells us that it's now on Comedy Central, nightly at 7 and 7:30, random local station, and WGN if you get that. It started last night (Monday, Sept 18, 2006). Check listings.

[BlogEntry] Your password will expire in 14 days. Do you want to change it?

My old employer never used to rotate passwords (including root!) but the new one is more security conscious, rotating passwords out every 60 days or something like that. So regularly I get this warning, "Your password will expire in 14 days. Do you want to change it?" I can still use my password. Once I change it, I can't go back to that one anymore. Isn't this like saying "The milk is going to go bad in 14 days, do you want to throw it out now?"

[BlogEntry] Coverville covers Elvis

I am a huge fan of Coverville, one of the oldest podcasts around (the first episode started back in September of 2004). The premise is simple – it's a show devoted to the cover versions of songs. That is, songs by somebody other than the original artist. Sound like a premise that wouldn't last long? Not hardly. Regular segments include "Cover Story" where he tells the history of a band through covers of their music, and "OriginalVille" where he looks at the original versions of songs whose cover version is more famous. Then there's his All Request nights, as well as the regular music trivia segments he plays with his wife and son.

It's an OriginalVille that I want to point people to, because for episode 241 he did Elvis. You an Elvis fan? I know a few Elvis fans that read my blog. Want to hear 35 minutes worth of the songs that Elvis made famous? How about Big Mama Thornton doing Hound Dog? Or Del Shannon doing Marie's the Name of His Latest Flame? These are the people that did it first, and then Elvis came along and made them (the songs, not the people) famous. I learn something new every day.

There's really nothing bad I can say about this podcast. It might be one of the best ones out there today. It's music heavy, without being like a radio station. It's educational, entertaining, and completely clean. I could play this in the car with my kids.