Month: May 2009

The Decemberists in Milwaukee

Below are two photos from The Decemberists concert in Milwaukee on May, 29, 2009.  The show was simply incredible.  They performed their new album, The Hazards of Love, in it’s entirety with no breaks.  They then took an intermission and came back out to play a selection of hits from their other albums.

The first picture is of the full band playing a selection from The Hazards of Love.  The second picture is of the final song of the night, “Sons & Daughters”.  Colin Meloy invited members of the audience up on stage to join him for the sing-along chorus.  As you can see, he had a few people take him up on the offer.

Turtle Power!

Walking around the Disney complex this morning, I stumbled upon a turtle trying to cross my path. The second picture is of Felix (I named him) hiding in his shell as I moved a little too close to him to take the picture. The first picture is of Felix feeling safe again and returning to his own walk.

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Return to Atlantis?

Yesterday, I finished reading “Hearts in Atlantis” by Stephen King.  That’s not really a big deal for most people.  It’s not really that long of a book.  It really shouldn’t be a big deal for me either.  I don’t read tons, but I read quite a bit.  Yet, this book has been sitting on my coffee table since January.  I just could not get through it.  I’ve read plenty of other things in the 5 months since I started “Hearts in Atlantis”, but I just could not finish it in a timely manner.

The larger story is broken into four smaller stories that are all related by their characters.  The second of the smaller stories is the longest of the four.  It was also the one I struggled to get through.  I found it so incredibly boring.  I would read ten pages or so and then not pick it up again for a week or two.  I really enjoy Stephen King’s writing, but this story just did not appeal to me.  Once I finished it, I flew through the remaining two stories.  Those were entertaining and kept my interest.

After finishing the book, I put it away feeling happy to finally be done with it.  I vowed not to return to “Hearts in Atlantis” ever again.  Later that evening, my girlfriend mentioned that she thought there was a movie based on the book.  A quick check of IMDB proved her to be correct.  And it has Anthony Hopkins in it.  Now I want to see it.  Maybe I’m not quite done with Atlantis, yet.

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A Tall, Metal Tree

Today’s portion of my drive to Florida included my first visit to Alabama.  NASA has a space center in Huntsville, Alabama, so one of the real rockets from the past is on display at the Welcome Center along I-65.  It’s an amazing sight and you can see it from miles away in Tennessee.  I was excited to get closer to it and even more excited when my father decided to pull into the Welcome Center for a bathroom break.

As we drove past the rocket to get to the parking spaces, I discovered that I didn’t need to be as excited as I was, because I wasn’t going to get to see much of the rocket.  The thing is, it’s buried in a big patch of trees so that people don’t get too close to it.  Or if there was a way to get close to it, I didn’t find it.  Disappointed, I took a picture of the huge metal “tree” poking up out of the mini-forest.

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Traveling Companions

I’m currently on a 3-day “cross-country” drive from Wisconsin to Florida.  While I’m not technically traveling alone as there are two vehicles making the trip, I am alone in the car.   Well, not totally alone.  I took a picture of the passenger seat to show who my companions are.

There’s my water bottle, my iPod, my work cell phone, my backpack, some Cool Ranch Doritos, and a cooler.  Except for the iPod, they are all very quiet passengers.  That’s probably for the best.  I’ve probably been on the road for too long if anything else on the passenger seat starts singing to me.

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Amber Benson’s Macarena

Amber Benson is an author and actress probably best known for her portrayal of Tara on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Recently, Amber made a deal with her fans that if she received 85 reviews on Amazon.com for her book “Death’s Daughter”, she would do the Macarena and post it online.  More than 85 reviews poured in and here’s Amber keeping up her end of the bargain.

http://www.youtube.com/v/Ei5Xpc6QfFQ&hl=en&fs=1

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What Time Is It?

This is a picture of a rather geeky clock that I have sitting on my desk at work. Yes, it’s a clock. Can you determine what time it was when I took the picture? Place your guesses in the comments.

If you’ve seen clocks like this before and know the secret to reading them, please refrain from posting the “answer” in the comments. Thanks.

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Maybe Iron Man Could Use An Oil Change, Too

I’m so excited to be on my way to an oil change this afternoon.

You may have read that last sentence and thought, “What?  Who gets excited for an oil change?”  Rest assured, dear reader, that I’m not typically a person that gets excited at the prospect of shelling out some dough to have fluids in my car swapped out.  Truth be told, I could care less about the actual oil change.  What I’m really looking forward to is the 45 minute wait as the brilliant service technicians at Schaefer’s Service Center work on my Prius.

Okay, I know I really have you scratching your head with a perplexed look on your face now.  Who gets excited about sitting in a waiting room on a plastic chair for the better part of an hour?  It never used to be me.  I would sit there flipping through their collection of several-month-old magazines trying to find articles that were both interesting to me and contained information that I didn’t already pick up in the 5 months since the magazine originally hit the newsstand.  After way too many years of doing this, I finally realized that it was okay for me to bring my own items to keep myself occupied during this time.  As long as it wasn’t something that disturbed the people working or the other members of the waiting room contingent, there’s really nothing wrong with it.  Since then, I’ve always showed up with something to read, a game to play on a portable device, or at the very least, a fully charged mobile phone with internet access.

This afternoon’s time will be passed by reading comics.  Even though shiny new comics came out yesterday, I will be reading last week’s titles.  Wonderful times spent with my family and girlfriend over the past 8 days have prevented me from reading most of last week’s comics haul.  I’m quite excited to tear into them and find out what all of my illustrated “friends” have been up to since the last time I saw them.  While I will have this week’s batch of comics with me just in case, I doubt I will get to them in the 45 minutes it will take for the oil to be changed in my car.  Maybe I’ll get lucky and my oil change will go long and take an hour.

Now that’s a sentence that may never be written again.

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Sweatshirtageddon 2009

As I’ve mentioned on this blog, my Facebook, and my Twitter, Spring 2009 has not been the best when it comes to weather.  We are still getting nights where the temperature drops to near freezing.  The days rarely get above 55 degrees.  And when they do, they go flying up to 82 degrees for one afternoon and then come crashing back down to 50 degrees the next day.  That kind of rapid weather change usually brings me a stuffed up head and the potential for a cold.  Sunny days are few and far between, with most of them being overcast, cloudy, gray, and raining.  I am not a fan of Spring 2009.

However, always looking for the bright side, I have found that there is one advantage to the cold, dreary spring.  While looking through my closet full of clothes on Sunday, I noticed that I have several sweatshirts that I didn’t wear at all in the past six months.  Even though I like all of those sweatshirts, they never made it into the rotation and have just hung, all lonely and not-worn, in my closet since the winter of 2007-2008.  With a few more days of weather forecast to be dreary and in the 50s to 60s, I made it a goal to wear as many of those sweatshirts as possible before summer arrives.

I’m on Day 2 of Sweatshirtageddon 2009.  Today I’m rocking a navy blue Old Navy sweatshirt.  It’s very soft and comfy and deserved to be much better represented during the cold winter we just experienced.  After a brief hiatus on Wednesday when I will wear something nicer for a dinner with my parents and girlfriend, Sweatshirtageddon 2009 returns powerfully on Thursday with another neglected sweatshirt from the back of my closet.

Let’s hope I don’t discover some other neglected clothes and feel the need for Hammer-Pantsageddon 2009 to occur this summer.

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Shipped Away

click to enbiggen

click to enbiggen

I went on a cruise in March.  This is a picture of the Disney Wonder, the ship that I was on.  In the foreground on the left is the actual set of The Flying Dutchman from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  A Captain Jack Sparrow/Johnny Depp impersonator was also at this location of the itinerary.

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