Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Texans for Truthful Textbooks rally

My lady went out of town last weekend, so I was going to take the boys to see some politics in action! After a bit of explaining to a nine-year-old and five-year-old about us having rights to assembly and free speech, our Constitution, and other countries, I told them about a rally on the Capitol steps where some groups were proposing changes to textbooks based on their agendas. My youngest cut to the chase:

“Is this rally going to be cool?”


Needless to say, a hot day plus political speakers makes for a time that no amount of climbing on cannons will make fun. They tolerated being there, but couldn’t stand more than one speaker due to “dying of hunger and boredom.”

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On the way back to the car we got sidetracked by the Capitol – all of a sudden energy levels were high enough to run up the stairs and look down the rotunda!

Friday, July 24, 2009


My family and I are driving down Lamar on the way to a combo Anthropologie/Book People run. Just a normal day, right? I guess we happened to be at the right place at the right time.


So the first time we passed this brave soul I saw him and pointed him out to my wife just as we passed him. We had to turn around and check him out a second time. Of course by this time I need to take a picture for my blog, so we go by him a third time, but the picture didn't turn out. We ended up parking so we could get a good shot the fourth time he passed us, the cheeky bastard.

Allow me to ask you a question, gentle reader. When wearing a thong and flip-flops, where would one carry their keys? Observant readers may have picked up on this guy's ingenuity.

Keys? Check. The wallet, though....

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Movie updates

We don't get to see many movies, so when we make it to the theater, it's a bigger deal than normally. So, in order of appearance...



A buddy and I saw it on opening night at Alamo Drafthouse. Hugh Jackman IS Wolverine, but Liev Schrieber is the better actor, but both of these guys are good. Sabertooth is MUCH better and more accurate to the comics in this movie than the original X-Men. Daddy likes!

Star Trek


I convinced our managers to take us to Alamo Drafthouse for our quarterly offsite to see Star Trek in opening week. I figured I would like it going in, and it didn't disappoint. Space being actually silent and ships not all aligned on z-axis made up for any questionable parts about drilling to a planet's actual core, and creating a black hole at said core rather than just near the planet. I heard a lot about the lens flares on the bridge, but I didn't notice them in a negative sense.

Angels & Demons


My wife and I had a date and this time, she just wouldn't go for seeing Terminator: Salvation, so we saw Angels & Alamo Drafthouse. Entertaining and interesting, and I thought I had it figured out but it got me.



We saw Up in 3D at a local theater, strangely not the Alamo. We all really enjoyed it. I saw some 3D movie content earlier, and this time the glasses were smaller and not obviously red-green like the Dolby ones. I'll have to do some research to find out the differences - this was our first 3D movie experience, and four adults, two eight-year-olds, and two four-year-olds managed to keep the glasses on, which I thought was quite a feat for the kids.

The 3D was really well done, and I had no eye problems/headaches wearing these glasses over my prescription glasses. A lot of the kids were trying to grab stuff coming out of the screen. They had bins to recycle the glasses upon exit, but we kept ours. Pics to follow.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One hundred pushups

A friend of mine and I have started the workout plan from


It's a program that in six weeks or so hopes to have you completing one hundred consecutive pushups. The program is three days a week, and very simple and straightforward.

We're still in the first week, but I'll be updating my progress. My initial test netted me 20, so we'll see how it goes from there.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Lonely Island

I'm an occasional SNL watcher, and I like all the SNL Digital Shorts, like this one:

I did some looking around, and the guys that do the Digital Shorts are the guys from The Lonely Island.


They have an album out called Incredibad, and it is amazing. It's one of those albums that you and like-minded-individuals can quote all the time. My wife can't stand it!

They have made videos of some of their songs from the album, and a few of these have made their way onto SNL, and while Andy Samberg is on SNL, the other two dudes (Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone) work behind the scenes as writers.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Pandora and the Music Genome Project

I know what your thinking, and no, that's not the name of my latest story.

I've heard about the web music app Pandora for a long time, but never checked it out. Recently I remembered it and pulled it up. Going to the website presents a front end that lets you specify an artist (or a song) that you like, and Pandora starts playing something by that artist.


Pandora builds a queue of music based off of your initial selection and the Music Genome Project. Basically, it analyzes your selection and assigns the song certain attributes that it matches against songs in its database. Subsequent songs are automatically queued up and played.

I've started with various musicians I like and also tried some obscure ones. The vast majority of times I've enjoyed what I've heard, with some obvious matching selections but also some bands that are new to me. It's great for parties or just hanging around if you are tired of your current media selection or don't want to create a custom playlist (or are too lazy to hit Shuffle).

There is also a Pandora app for mobile devices, but I'm not sure how great this is due to it always being on and streaming data/music. I could see your battery draining due to the Pandora app, but as I don't have a phone with that kind of capability I'm basically talking out of my Napster. I'm sure it works - why offer it otherwise.

Slumdog Millionaire

We had a rare double-date night a few days ago and ended up (as planned) at the (two) dollar show to see Slumdog Millionaire.


I loved it. The actors were great, the music was great, the story was great. I had heard a lot of high praise for the movie, and I'm glad I was able to finally see it in the theater.

Oh yeah, Space Chimps sucks.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Interesting recommendation from Netflix

So we use Netflix, and we love it. With kids and a full schedule, it's nice to cut out an errand whenever possible. I check the mail every day on my commute, so it's win-win. Commercial over.

We are pretty slow in our movie-watching, though, as we are on the two-movie-at-a-time plan, and one of the movies is always earmarked for Friday's movie night. One grown-up movie at a time and you can see why our queue is 285 movies long.

Anyway, somewhat recently I added Hancock (Peter Berg + Jason Bateman FTW)to our queue, and Netflix has a handy feature that shows you a list of movies that, based on you just clicking Movie A, here are Movies B - G that you also might enjoy due to their similarity. I'm not exactly sure about this one, though.


Hmm....Hancock is a superhero. Fantastic Four and Spiderman 3? Check. I Am Legend? Obvious. Uh, Brokeback Mountain?

We saw Brokeback Mountain, and it is a really good movie. I don't recall superheroes in it, though. No Will Smith connection either.

Am I missing an obvious connection? Are cowboys really that super? Is there some submessage in Hancock? Is it just and unfortunate naming mismatch?