Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wii Fit after six months

I've had my Wii Fit for just a little over six months. I'm extremely pleased with it. Despite what some others have said, I like my little balance board and I like what he has to say.

The Wii Fit is fantastic at motivating me to workout every day. I look at the graph of my workouts every day and if are blank spots I feel bad. I missed a total of five days in the last six months, which is interesting because I felt like I missed a LOT of days, but that's actually pretty fantastic.

You can also log minutes that you spend exercising away from the Wii Fit, so you've got a nice comprehensive log to admire as you flip through the past months. Wii Fit = teh awlesome.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Advice on various subjects from Russell Brand


Thursday, February 26, 2009

This is brilliant

I do wish I had a Kindle but there's no way I could shell out that kind of money. I once bought a horse for only a little bit more than the list price.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A crazy bargain

I used to work with someone who told me they grew up near a neighbor with an x-ray machine in the basement and the kids used to go and play with it, having no idea they were endangering themselves. You'd think an x-ray machine would always be very expensive but here's one at auction for hardly anything.

(You can pick up a couple of dental chairs for dirt cheap too and you're all set to go into business.)


Monday, February 23, 2009

I think I'll take the rest of the month off

I'm in the mood for relaxing. I think I'll take the rest of the month off.

That doesn't mean I won't be working my day job, because I will. It doesn't mean I won't be writing my weekly column, because I will. It doesn't mean I won't be working on the shoestring living site, because I will. It doesn't mean I won't be outlining a major project I'm researching, because I will.

I'll still be working out every day. I'll still be paying the bills and keeping the kids fed.

So what I am taking time off from? I'm not really sure. Maybe it's just really a state of mind. I'll be mentally on vacation for the rest of the month...


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Football/acting - it's all the same

Here's an amusing screenshot I just grabbed of the homepage. Looks like someone either put up the wrong image or just can't believe football season is really over...

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Toothpaste? I think not

Check out these suggestions. The toothpaste one made me gag. Courtesy of someone who would probably like to remain anonymous.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Best of luck AR Rahman

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Missing girl may be a ghost?

If you do a search on "missing girl" you get all kinds of crazy responses. Many of them are heartbreaking and some are peculiar. Here's one about a dude who saw a lost girl, then decided she was a ghost.

"She was slowly walking along the road towards the traffic lights. I rolled the window down and slowed up to her to make sure she was okay but she carried on walking without a care in the world.

"I was on my way home and was five minutes away from the nearest garage when I spotted a policeman. I reported seeing the little girl as I thought it was strange for her to be out alone at that time and it was a freezing night."
I was curious about the man quoted, who is a member of a paranormal group, and did a quick search and found this article.

John Teece-Millington, caretaker at Stanley Palace and a member of Cheshire Paranormal, told the Leader: "I have seen an apparition on the stairway wearing white and gold.

"Also, a lady always appears who is very slender and she usually sings.

"You can smell her perfume as she walks past.

"We often hear children crying and visitors have said that rooms feel cold even on a hot day."

Mr Teece-Millington said that he once left a video camera recording upstairs in the palace and it recorded what appeared to be a chair moving across the floor and back under the table.

He added: "The house is very, very, active although some days are quieter than others. A lot of the time you can hear banging."

Sounds like seeing ghosts is a normal thing for him. It would probably be weird for him to go for a drive and not see a spirit.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cute idea but I'm not sure it will work

Several months ago Colleen Lindsay had a thread about Jane Austen and vampires. I left a post saying I had been imagining Jane Austen and Cthulu (something I lethargically researched) then one about the Brontes destroying zombies. (I still think this is a fantastic idea.)

I just read this article which says

Will Clark is set to direct "Pride and Predator," which veers from the traditional period costume drama when an alien crash lands and begins to butcher the mannered protags, who suddenly have more than marriage and inheritance to worry about.

It's a cute idea but I think it might be more a skit idea than a feature film. I'm also pretty sure that the average Jane Austen fan is not going to want to see this film. Sure there will be freaks like me who like monsters and Austen, but I wonder how many of us there are and if there are enough to make this thing make any money. I'll be following this story with interest.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Quite the opportunity

The government deal website has a construction trailer up for sale that you'll want if you're getting ready to film a horror movie.

Take a look at it, it's quite awful. You could stick a couple of zombies or trashy vampires in there easily.


Fantastic day

I got up this morning and had a headache, which makes about eight days for this particular headache. We're switching my medicine for the intracranial hypertension and I'm kind of hoping that I'll get used to it and my headache will go away. If it doesn't I'll have to go back to my old regime, which is playing holy hell with my blood sugar.

I find that when I have a headache I usually feel better if I can move around, get some exercise, stretch my shoulders and neck so I did, worked out until I felt better. Then I sat down and worked on this first draft I've been working on forever, really almost a year, and finally, praise Jesus, finished it. That's an incredible relief. It's an awful mess and I may not do anything further with it but for now I'm happy it's finished.

I've been listening to Mika today; a great choice for fun, happy music that's easy to work out to. Then I got caught up on one of my email accounts. Now I'm getting caught up on Battlestar Galactica. Good times.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Spoilers included

Song of the day. Don't watch if you haven't seen all of season one of Skins.


Friday, February 13, 2009

This is vile

This craigslist ad is disgusting. It sounds like the person who wrote it hung these items on some random person's fence. I'm sure that does wonders for neighborhood rapport.



This is a fun video.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How many kittens does that make?

I only just found out about PETA's campaign to stop the slaughter of sea kittens. I saw it in a comic and was just bemused at first, but then I found out that it's actually real. PETA is hoping that if kids think of fish as sea kittens they won't want to eat fish anymore. The reaction in my household? I won't name names but someone said we should go ahead and start eating land kittens. After all we've already eaten all these sea kittens. We're going to hell anyway, right? Sigh.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's your motivation?

There was a piece on the news today about some legislation an ice skater is advocating. It's supported by the "Coalition for a Healthy Maryland" and would involve tax cuts for Marylanders who are trying to lose weight, stop smoking or exercising.

So how would that work? Are tax representatives going to come into your home and count your cigarettes? Will you have to send your Weight Watchers results to the state capital? Will my Wii Fit share my data with random government workers?

The first thing I wanted to find out is who is this coalition? From their website:

We are a collaboration of Maryland businesses, health clubs, insurers, non-profit associations and individuals determined to improve the health of our State.

The next question is what do they get out of the legislation? Let's look at the suggestions from their website.

1. Combat Childhood Obesity in Maryland

  • Includes a tax deduction per child for efforts to reverse childhood obesity
  • Provided to parents of children participating in a qualified program designed to combat childhood obesity

2. Reduce Smoking and Tobacco Use in Maryland

  • Includes a tax credit for cessation related efforts
  • Provided to users of qualified smoking / tobacco cessation programs

3. Promote Senior Fitness & Wellness in Maryland

  • Annual tax deduction for seniors (65+) with qualified fitness & wellness expenses

The rest of the list is similar, with emphasis on enrolling in qualified programs, programs run by the very people who are behind the legislation.

It's a pretty nice gig if you can get it. Health clubs, weight loss centers, etc are all feeling the pinch of the bad economy so what do they do? Promote legislation that will get clients in the door so said clients can get tax breaks.

I'm all for promoting healthy lifestyles but I think this particular example is ridiculous. How many people do you know who have joined a health club and never gone? Or have quit after a couple of weeks? Let's look at some programs that actually work and emulate those.


Candles Burning

I'm reading Candles Burning by Tabitha King and Michael McDowell. I keep wanting to call it a devious book, the most devious book I've ever read, but then I think I'm being dumb because how can an inanimate object be devious?

It's fantastic and constantly surprising me. It's also got its gruesome moments so be forewarned. It's sort of southern gothic horror meets a coming of age story a la Paper Moon. I know that sounds a bit mad but that's how I've got it classified. You should give it a try.


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Logic people, logic

I'm watching a tv show and one of the characters justifies his nefarious actions by saying "You don't get rich in the FBI." No duh buddy. If getting rich is one of your goals you should have chosen a different career path. Honestly.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Go see Coraline

I went to see Coraline but it was sold out so ended up seeing Slumdog Millionaire (which was fantastic) while waited for a later showing of Coraline.

Felt bad for a small child who burst into spontaneous applause when the tunnel between Coraline's home and her Other Mother's home opened up. The poor kid had no idea that the tunnel opening back up was not a good thing.

Go see the movie. It's amazing and wonderful.

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Two Steves read Steele

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Your homework

Get a copy of Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath. Read chapter five. Think about how the same chapter works in relation to today's banks with their bailouts and executive bonuses.

It probably helps if you, like me, have been reading Paul Muolo's excellent column What We're Hearing, which runs every Friday at

You'll probably also want to check out his books, Chain of Blame and $700 Billion Bailout Bill.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Closing some tabs

Interesting article about non traditional medical students from the New England Journal of Medicine.

When I was growing up, my parents wanted me to become a doctor, but I had other ideas. I wanted to be a television journalist, or perhaps a trial lawyer or private investigator — something with panache. In college, intoxicated by the mysteries of the universe, I ended up studying condensed-matter physics, in which I eventually earned a Ph.D. But after a close friend contracted an incurable illness, I began to have doubts about my career path. Seeking a profession of tangible purpose — like many older students — I was drawn to medicine.
Another one from the same journal about premed studies and how useful they really are. Do we need more science? Does it need to be more specialized?

In recent decades, scientific knowledge has changed dramatically, once-settled scientific principles have been replaced by more sophisticated concepts and entirely new disciplines, and parallel changes have occurred in medical practice and health care delivery. In the face of these new realities, medical school curricula have had to adapt. Yet despite these sweeping changes, including the permeation of most areas of medicine by molecular and cellular biology and genetics, requirements for admission to medical school have remained virtually unchanged for many decades.


Monday, February 02, 2009

Random pickup lines

Cullen is playing Mass Effect and I keep thinking some of the dialogue would make fantastic cheesy pickup lines. Like "Next time you're on Earth let me buy you a drink." And "I just never thought thought I'd meet someone like you." Combine them and it's a bit scary.

I'm happy to report that my optho-neurologist says my optic nerves are totally flat. Woowoo!

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Pop culture

I've been making more of an effort to be aware of pop culture, which means I'm watching American Idol, the Olympics, Battlestar Galactica, and watching reruns of the Sopranos on HBO.

With that in mind I was thinking about watching the Super Bowl, despite my lack of interest in American football. I was just thinking I could record it, then play it back, skipping the actual football and watching just the commercials. It would be a bit of a change from the way I usually watch recorded programs...