Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A long-awaited, highly-anticipated review.

So, kids, how was that for a build-up?  I know it's been a while since you've gotten such a coveted rental car review from me.  What can I say?  I haven't been traveling much.  However, last week I had a new Chrysler 200, and it was a mixed bag.  

Pros: Great pickup, automatic headlamps and auto climate.  The car has a nice roadfeel.  For basic seating it was still relatively comfortable.  Compass on the dash with the temperature, not something I expect in a basic car.  

Cons: Rear visibility sucks.  The seats are so high and the headrests are fixed so you can't do anything about it.  At slow speeds like the parking lot, the steering is cumbersome.  It feels like there's no power steering at all.  When I shut off the car at night, the headlamps look like they project the Chrysler wing logo.  Maybe that's not a con, but it's gimicky and it's blatant product placement, to which I'm opposed.  I don't like how all the doors unlock at once when you open the car, but that's probably a setting somewhere.  The trunklid is heavy to open, like the little air pistons are fighting you instead of assisting.  Plus, the liftover is quite high.  Not a candidate for long-term driving, for sure.

It's not one of the cubish little cars my boss gets from time to time, so that's a plus.  I don't know that I could take myself seriously in a Kia Soul or one of those little Nissans.  But it's also not the new 200, a beautiful departure from the 2011 model I had.  

Overall, I could be nitpicking because it's not as cool as the 300.  I still think the car is quite drivable and not bad looking in its own right.  Once I figured out the climate control, it was a polar excursion for me, a nicety in hot, humid weather.  I give it a tentative B-. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

I'm ready for my foil hat, Mr. DeMille

Can you feel it?  The Internet is stalking us.

This is nothing new, it's been stalking me for some time now.  Sidebar ads.  Recommendations when I search for something on the great and powerful Google.  Recipes for delicious Spam primavera when I go to my spam folder in email. 

The most recent disturbing message came when I Twittered about our office coffee and it's lack of quality.  Mere moments later, I got an email from WebMD asking me if I didn't think, perhaps, my caffeine intake was a tad high.

This is uncalled for.  If good things happened with this whole Internet spying thing, I wouldn't mind.  If, for example, it triggered shipments of free bacon to my home any time I mentioned #bacon on Twitter, or if someone mysteriously showed up at the office with a four-shot of espresso when I disparage office coffee, we'd be golden.

But really, Internet?  Questioning my caffeine intake?  Spam-kebabs?  Who are you to judge, oh great Judgie McJudgerson?  Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, that Zuckerberg kid from Facebook, whoever invented Google, and even Al Gore, I'm looking at you.  Stop stalking me, just let me live my life in peace.  Am I going insane, here?  Are we in danger of the Internet ruling our lives until we run, screaming, to a tiny shack in the middle of Montana to write our manifestoes on manual typewriters, far from the prying eye of the Worldwide Web?  I think so!

But then again, that could be the caffeine talking, I suppose.

Carry on.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Random Acts of Thursday - Spy on Spy Action!

A few weeks ago we spent all our spying energies on James Bond.  Well, on Bond girls, but still. 

There are so many other spy films out there, I figured you could do with expanding your NetFlix rental list a bit.  Below are twelve spies, eleven from film and one from television.  Identify which movie or show each spy belongs to.  Remember to show your work, kids!

  • Louis Salinger
  • Number Six
  • Joe Turner
  • Harry Tasker
  • Emmett Fitz-Hume
  • Ethan Hunt
  • Jack Ryan
  • Alex Leamas
  • Tom Bishop
  • Chuck Barris
  • Annabella Smith
  • Derek Flint
Enjoy yourselves, and go back and answer the Bond quiz as well.  Never hurts.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Which Side Are You On?

I have always been a bed hog.  When left to my own devices, I sleep diagonally or even across the bed sideways.  Lori keeps me in check and usually on my left side, facing away from her so the snoring is slightly less locomotive-like.  However, if, nay, WHEN I go to bed early, I'm sure I spread out and need to be moved.  I know when I'm traveling for work, I revert to old habits and take up the whole bed again. 

Some years ago, probably about the time we got married, I got switched from the left side to the right side of the bed.  I don't know exactly how it happened, but what probably started as a whim so I could be near the fan has become permanent.  I suppose I don't mind this, but that might have something or another to do with why I gravitate back to the other side of the bed when left unchecked.

A cursory search of the Internet shows studies to determine if you sleep better on one side versus the other (right versus left, not top versus bottom), or if it matters in a relationship, which seems to dictate that the man sleeps closest to the door, which I usually do by virtue of the room design.  There's no feng shui of bed side that I can find.  I don't even understand the feng shui diagrams available on Google, though admittedly I didn't try very hard.

How about you, dear reader?  Do you have a preference of side?  Does the person with whom you share a bed have a side preference, thereby relegating you to the other side by default?  Do you sleep on a side when you're alone?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm a keeper!

I've been known to collect a thing or two.  Stamps and postmarks, Hot Wheels, telegraph insulators, cans, (ahem) straws (ahem), ugly neckties, cookbooks, rocks, shells, bottlecaps and matchbooks, to name a few.  I also hang on to random crap in the event that it might, someday, become useful.  Sometimes I fancy myself a sculptor of found objects, like the time in college I taped all of my friend's trash to his wall.

And titled it.

He was less than thrilled.  It was even worse for him when the tape failed to hold the soda cans up through the night.  Plink!  Plunk!

Anyway, I digress.  As a sculptor-to-be of found objects, it first becomes necessary to save found objects.  As such, a random assemblage of rusted metal, uniquely shaped plastic and glass and disused motors have been collected over the years.  Unfortunately, a minor incident last Friday told me I might be out of control.

My daughter sent me this picture:
This random plumbing part was rolling around in her car, which used to be my car, and she wondered if it was important.  It's the washing machine hookup valve from our house.  In Wisconsin.  A valve that I replaced in 2005.  A valve that, despite being seized up by calcium and iron deposits, seemed worthy to me of keeping.  For integrity, I suppose.

Something apparently needs to be done about me. 
I never set out to hoard, nor am I, ultimately, a hoarder.  Not by any means.  I'm not climbing over boxes in my entryway.  I can, with minimal effort, get a car into the garage next to the motorcycles.  We're not sleeping amidst piles of laundry on our bed.  I don't have stacks of newspapers from 1978 on the kitchen table or a bag of empty candy wrappers in the hall closet.  Our toilets flush.  There are limits, after all.  We rented our house to a hoarder, and I had to ask her to leave after she turned our house into a tinder bundle.  I can't even watch that TV show without shuddering.  Deep down, clutter actually bothers me.  Not that my boxes of 'stuff' aren't taking up their share of floor space in our basement and on the shelves in the garage.  The only redeeming quality is that I know what's in each of them.
And isn't at least one redeeming feature enough to keep me?

Friday, April 20, 2012

No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to quiz!

I know quizzes normally happen on Thursdays, but it's been far too long since I've quizzed you, my childrens.  I'm here to resolve that and not make you wait another whole week.  You're excited, I can tell.

For that matter, it's also been far too long since I've entrenched myself in a Bond movie marathon.  I love the James Bond franchise, and while I'm generally a fan of the official (Eon Productions) films, there have been others made to feature 007 as well, with varying success.  I'm looking at you, Never Say Never Again....  In lieu of that, getting you to answer questions about the great and powerful Bond is some comfort.

Put on your thinking caps and get Googling, my little spylets!
  • Which actor has starred in the most Bond films to date?
  • Which Bond character has been played by the most actors in the franchise history: M, Ernst Stavro Blofeld or Felix Leiter?
  • Which of those characters was played by more than one actor in a single film?
  • Name two actors to play a different role in a subsequent film than in their original Bond appearance.  (Check the CDS archives for this one, kiddoes!)
  • Of the many makes and models of car James Bond has driven, and given his history of destroying anything he drives, which car has featured in more films than any other?
  • What children's author wrote the screenplay for one of the film adaptations of Ian Fleming's novels?
  • What non-Bond film did said author screenwrite based on an Ian Fleming story?
  • Which film featured more actors playing Agent 007 than any other?
  • Of those actors, who is the only one to act in one of the 'official' Bond films? 
  • Who was the best Bond girl ever?  Discuss.  Unless you think it was Halle Berry, in which case you're wrong.  Even Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist exhibited better acting skills.  And by acting skills I mean acting skills.  Get your minds out of the gutter.
Remember to show your work, kids!  Spelling counts.  When you're done, check this out at LOTD.

Answers here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

It's official, I'm a Twit.

A twit is, for the sake of definition, "a silly annoying person".  Having read some Twitter posts, I'm not surprised this is the name Twitter's founders came up with.

With that said, however, I have joined the dark side.  I am now a Twit.  Check out @nerdy_fat_guy for proof of my twitty goodness.  If you can.  I honestly have no idea how to find somebody's Twitter feed in all the thousands of profiles out there.  If you know, please tell me.

I just want to fit in.  

(This, of course, means I need to get a new phone, since I apparently can't download Twitter to my ancient Crackberry.  And posting when I get around to it does tend to remove the spontaneity of the whole genre.  Might be a problem.)

Be nice and share!

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