Sunday, April 30, 2006

If Badger was Catholic...SHE woulda written this:

http://rollercoasterofhate.com/?p=5

-J.

Posted by Joke at 8:58 PM 7 comments

The work before us.

Today we sat down and took stock of what our house "needs."

Naturally, some needs are urgent and some are poorly disguised wants. Either way, this is what we have on our plate:

1- New roof
2- Total re-do of the bathrooms
3- Near-total re-do of the kitchen
4- Get the built-ins, er, built in the HT
5- New family room furniture (ours is sneaking up on 15 years old, nine of which have involved the detritus of offspring)
6- China cabinet & server for dining room
7- Turning the garage into a place suitable for the veneration of the internal combustion engine.
8- Convert the house to gas
9- Adding the 2nd story

Items 1-8 can be accomplished individually, or in whatever grouping we consider logical. #9 is a big one (literally and figuratively) not just because it will add about 35% square footage to the house, but also because we'll be stuck having to "lifeboat" (living in a corner of the house while the work goes on) for about a 8 months. To say nothing of the RIDICULOUS amount of paperwork--permits, inspections, etc.--required.

To say nothing of the fact we haven't decided WHAT we'll stick up there. Palatial master suite? Game room? Office? Helipad? You know that's the sort of discussion that brings closeness to a marriage.

There is also the possibility of swapping the garage for the HT. Not probability, mind you...but possibility. It would get rid of the ugly garage door from the front of the house and put it on the side (our house is on a corner), and we'd gain a fair amount of "living" room. But the game would probably not be worth the candle. [shrug]

The part that interests me most, though, is the (duh!) kitchen. I don't have the luxury of expanding its size, but I can use the space FAR more intelligently than the previous owners did when they redid the kitchen in 1982. So that's almost as good. The only things I'm keeping are the indoor grill and the floor (I love our kitchen floor!). I plan to plagiarize much of what some friends of Poppy did in their condo, albeit with different colors. I also want a trash compactor and one of those little sorta-cheapo built in wine cellars. Pot racks every damned where, too.

Now, to exhale as I contemplate the bills.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 3:22 PM 8 comments

Saturday, April 29, 2006

What passes for content these days.

Stolen from Poppy who swiped it from, uh, someone...

Accent: Generic American, with tinges of Grosse Pointedness.
Booze: No Canadian Whisky, no "Zima crap" and nothing with artificial flavors. Everything else goes.
Chore I Hate: Picking up and shelving the reading materials I have enjoyed reading.
Dog or Cat: Neither. We have a fish tank which I refuse to attend.
Essential Electronics: Laptop, home theatre stuff.
Favorite Perfume: Used to be Monogram, but now it's Polo Blue.
Gold or Silver: Gold. White gold. Looks sort of silver-like but it's expensive, but only you know it's expensive.
Hometown: Miami, Florida.
Insomnia: Nightly.
Job Title: SAHD sometimes and Strategic Consultant the rest of the time.
Kids: Two.
Living arrangements: House. Wife and kids.
Most admirable traits: Brilliant and hilarious conversationalist, with a working knowledge of almost everything.
Number of sexual partners: I'm sorry, I never handed out receipts.
Overnight hospital stays: One. Tonsils.
Phobias: None. I mock the phobic.
Quote: "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." Mark Twain
Religion: High Church Roman Catholic. Seemingly the last one left.
Siblings: One sister. Bossy.
Time I wake up: 6:30am if I went to sleep around 2am, or 2am if I went to sleep at 10pm. Basically, 4 hours after falling asleep.
Unusual talent or skill: Coming up with lyrics on the fly.
Vegetables I love: All save the unspeakably vile bell pepper.
Worst habit: Procrastination.
X-rays: One, broken arm, age 9.
Yummy foods I make: The basic Euro-Mediterranean repertoire.
Zodiac sign: Aries. Whatever that means.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 5:38 PM 11 comments

Friday, April 28, 2006

In which I play along.

For Loretta's list friday, here are ten jobs I always wanted to try: (in, as they say, not in any order whatsover)

1. TV Chef. I've actually done time in restaurants and "no, thanks." Brutal work, long hours, pretty thankless.
2. Fashion designer. Think Ralph Lauren for the cognoscenti.
3. CEO of an automotive empire. So that we would no longer have cars that suck. Or, at least the cars that suck would be fast.
4. CEO of Walt Disney & Co. I'd actually be good at that.
5. Pope. Just for a year.
6. Dictator.
7. Astronaut.
8. Golf bum.
9. Winemaker/distiller/brewmaster. I want REALLY good stuff to get people all tipsy.
10. Film director.

There, happy?

-J.

Posted by Joke at 10:20 AM 9 comments

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Things only SAHDs know about.

OK,

So I'm at the pediatrician with NOS. The Doc looks out the window and says "Is that your black [ridiculously impractical Italian car]?"

"Yah huh," I reply.

Doc: "I thought you had a red [slightly less ridiculously impractical, but stupidly faster Italian car]."
Me: "I still have it."
Doc: "...and your wife lets you? Wow."

Pause...pause...(mind you, all this time, he is examining NOS)

Doc: "He has a bit of strep. What's it like to drive?"

Me: "It's great. This is my everyday car, though, but it gets great mileage, too."

Doc: "Is it reliable? I'll prescribe [some antibiotic I'm blanking on], __mg., twice a day, for 10 days."

Me: "Yes, but you have to be fanatical about the maintenance...most people slack on that and then all Hell breaks loose."

Doc: "I should get one."

Me: "If you don't need something collectible, they are actually rather reasonable."

Doc: "Really? I'd like to see him again in about a month, he's due for some bloodwork."

Me: "I'll dredge up some stuff and fax it over, I'll even introduce you to Richard, who is a wizard with these cars, and very fairly priced."

Doc: "That's good to know! Thank you! Bye, NOS!"

So now I'm doing research on Italian sports cars for my pediatrician.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 2:48 PM 9 comments

I suck at this meme...

OK.

All the cool kids have had seriously worrisome health issues with those whom they have offsprung. Blogger A's daughter's liver fell out, Blogger B has a son with kidneys protruding from his nostrils, Blogger C's twins have turned an unsightly plaid.

Hospital stays, "the machine that goes 'ping!'," sleepless nights filled with worst-case-scenario sweating, these have all been requirements for this meme.

Being bad at this, the best I could do is going to the pediatrician at 7:30am because NOS had a 103F/40C fever. The veredict: Strep throat.

So now, in the waning days (TFBIM still has a lot of end-of-month corporate stuff) of my SAHDness, I have to stand watch and administer antibiotics and assorted fever reducers.

Next time we play this, give me a heads-up so I might scare up a case of pleuresy or torpid liver or catarrh.

Blah.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 12:31 PM 8 comments

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Read 'em and weep.

Yes, yes...I know that OKCupid tests totally mangle Blogger posts/templates (I cleaned it up as best I could). Still. A guy must be allowed to preen. Basically I'm dark like Badger and clean like Poppy, from whom this has been stolen.

the Wit
(66% dark, 30% spontaneous, 36% vulgar)

your humor style:
CLEAN COMPLEX DARK
You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat. I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer.Your sense of humor takes the most thought to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.
You probably loved the Office. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check it out here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/theoffice/.
PEOPLE LIKE YOU:
Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais



The 3-Variable Funny Test!

- it rules -

If you're interested, try my best friend's best test:

The Genghis Khan Genetic Fitness Masterpiece

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:


You scored higher than 91% on darkness


You scored higher than 12% on spontaneity


You scored higher than 52% on vulgarity


Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test


Posted by Joke at 10:30 AM 5 comments

Monday, April 24, 2006

Scary Creepy tales of parenting.

While the household recovered from the icky cold-and-flu, er, ickiness...I fulfilled a VERY longstanding promise to NOS to take him to the comic book store.

Mind you, I am not (nor have I ever been) a Comic Book/SciFi/D&D sort of guy, but I seem to know a lot of those people, so I was wary.

And with good reason.

We went looking for old, classic Donald Duck & Uncle Scrooge comic books (before you scoff, these are SEARINGLY intelligent comics, and you'll be shocked at the stuff you learn reading them) but, instead, we were treated to an, um, environment, that reminded me of a cross between the comic book store from The Simpsons and the pawn shop scene from Pulp Fiction. Most of the comics were odes to dycfunctional sexual fantasies (now that oughta pick up my Googleness) featuring female characters with too much silicone and not enough costume, or pretty violent imagery.

Fortunately, we found what we sought and scampered out before I had to explain to my 8y.o. why there was a guy named The Gimp with a black zippered mask.

-J.

P.S. The comics we picked up--at random!--dealt with themes such as Jason & the Argonauts, plate tectonics and the history of gold shipments from South America to Spain. Yes, there were cartoons ducks, but still.

Posted by Joke at 1:14 PM 20 comments

Friday, April 21, 2006

My 1st Time, be kind.

Loretta is curious about why people love where they live.

10 reasons I love living in my particular corner of the southeastern edge of paradise:

1- NO CHANGE OF SEASONS (no need to change out closets, dead-ripe tomatoes in the garden in January, etc.)
2- Every traffic jam is like the United Nations on wheels, although, to be perfectly fair, the traffic jams eventually make progress.
3- The world capital for slushy rum drinks.
4- KILLER seafood
5- You are likelier to find 5 places that do espresso before you can find one that will have "regular" coffee.
6- Gotta love the hibiscus in bloom.
7- Citrus in the backyard.
8- Italian, Argentine, Nicaraguan, Japanese and Korean reastaurants owned and operated by actual Italians (from Italy, not Brooklyn), Argentines, Nicaraguans, Japanese and Koreans...all within walking distance.
9- The greatest sunsets anywhere, bar none.
10- My church, one of the few remaining old-timey, hardass, "perpendicular" High Church Catholic Churches left anywhere.

There's more, but I'm catching whatever's waylaid my family and I'm in no mood to think further.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 12:23 PM 6 comments

Thursday, April 20, 2006

SAHDness 2006 - A Recap

It's very different when you're the dad and you're the one staying home, even if it's only for 3-4 months of the year.

Sometimes I think of those LooneyTunes cartoons where Wile E. Coyote and the sheepdog punch in and out of their assorted shifts.

To do the SAH thing when you're not really wired for it takes a certain adaptive, compensatory skill set. (I seem to have that--thank you God!) You have to compensate because the "I carried you and held you to my bosom and nursed you" chip is missing from your circuit board. Mothers, in my experience, are aware of the emotional investment they have in tehir children because they vividly remember every little payment they made over 9+ months. Every twinge, every worrisome ache, pain, motion, sensation.

For dads, at least for THIS dad, it wasn't like that...it was a lump sum at the end of nine months. POW. Kid. As a dad, if you're smart, anyway, you spend the gestation and immediate postpartum period basically making offerings to appease or prevent the wrath of the Great Maternity Goddess. So I schlepped around like Igor bringing drums of Cherry Garcia and barrels of Fruit Flavored Tums and picking out the yellow ones. Making a large financial sacrifice to expiate for not going In The Room*.

All of which is cool, but none of which prepares you for doing the SAH thing.

In the usual brainless sitcom plots, when the Mr. Mom scenario takes hold, we see Hapless Dad going crazy trying to cope with new and unusual stresses and the episodes end with Mother walking in and the plumbing is spouting like a geyser, the house is on fire and teh children are caked with filth.

It ain't necessarily so.

The thing that DOES take getting used to is all the moms telling you how wonderful you are for doing this. Not that I mind, but it's like being admired for your refueling technique or your excellent wristwork in opening a jar. I always feel like answering like the sheriff in those Old West movies "Just doin' mah job, ma'am."

The other thing that takes getting used to, this time on the part of the offspring is the "I don't care how Mommy does it. This is how Daddy does it."

Example: Child has to take medicine. Said medicine tastes like Vegan Hemlock from Tim's of Vermont. Mommy's approach is to plead, ask and/or bribe Child into swallowing this bile. This is moderately successful, even if it takes three spoonfuls for Child to actually ingest one. Daddy, on the other hand, is a bit different. "Take it or wear it." For good effect. Child is seated from a high enough surface that escape is unlikely. Child's resolve tends to diminish quickly.

It's little things like that.

Just two days ago, NOS had an uncharacteristic moment when he lunged for something at a toy store. I have seen TFBIM engage in tugs-o-war in these situations. I just hoisted NOS on my shoulder and chugged along.

I ain't got time to bleed.

Which, I think, sums up the basic core difference betwen how I do things and how Mommy does things. I'm all about results and the quickest and easiest pathway to same. When I have to take one of the boys to the Dr., all I care about is:

The diagnosis.
The prognosis.
What, in excruciating no-room-for-mistake-or-misunderstanding detail, I have to do.

"He has lycanthropy, it's a mild case, give him Vitamin C and shave him every full moon and feed him raw steak. Got it."

I don't want to hear ANYTHING else. In fact, I am (inwardly) very angry to have to hear anything superfluous. Inside I'm thinking "Dude, I have to get out of here." My wife would be asking for brochures and looking up Yahoo Groups and wondering if flying to Boston when she was 2 months pregnant could have been the cause. I make it a policy to not think about things I am unable or unwilling to change. I stay sane that way.

In an email exchange with the lovely and gracious Badger, she wrote (I could practically see her face clouded over with exasperation) something to the effect of "Gah! You're such a MAN." But I can't help it, I only have one X chromosome.

This isn't something to be terribly proud of, but I am not (and I suspects this applies to most dads) particularly introspective or "hindsight-y" about my parenting. Yes, I sometimes beat myself up about getting the wrong warranty on the Audi or whatever possessed me to spend THAT kind of money on that useless surround sound processor. But it never descends to feelings of guilt. Just look at my cuticles.

I s'pose that being this shallow--I've stepped in deeper puddles--is something of a defense mechanism. It also helps to have an abnormally large number of complicated hobbies to soak up valuable cerebral real estate that might otherwise be employed to more self-examinative effect. To wit: I literally spent over 24 hours (not in a row...but close) looking for the ideal DVD player before deciding on a good-for-now Denon and building the HTPC. This doesn't take into account the search for the out-of-production weatherstripping for the red car, or pondering whether I ought get a wok burner or an indoor grill for when the kitchen gets remodeled. Or the reading.

Do you think I could be capable even the most cursory examination of my own skills as a father under those circumstances? Guilt and self-awareness stand not a chance in Hell. I can't even remember the names of my wife's friends.

For some reason, it also takes me less time to get the kids ready for the day. Part of it is my attitude that breakfast is an option. Only want half a bagel? Fine. I'm not here to wheedle and implore. Somehow the lunchbox comes back empty.

The only thing in which I think I am manifestly superior to my wife is in teaching my children a more expedient form of conflict resolution, that is, if someone hits you first, you have my blessing to go mediæval on their arse. One day The Nun called because NOS had decked another boy who had said that NOS's friend P. would not be allowed to play for being "a fat blob." My wife was horrified. I was so happy I almost cried. It wasn't easy to explain why Mommy was upset that he stood up for someone who was getting picked on to the boy but I am convinced that he saw reason. "Tell the teacher" doesn't help much in the society of 3rd grade boys.

So here I am.

Looking to say buh-bye to my SAHD days for this year. Wondering how things will go when I am at the office at 9pm or 64 states away or in another hemisphere on business...and hoping and praying everything holds.

But today? I have a wife and a spring-breakin' 3rd grader stuck at home with the flu AND a dentist check up for a certain boy who doesn't care for having his teeth checked.

I ain't got time to bleed**.

-J.

* I will never go in the room, unless it's a HUGE room. With a bar at the other end.
** But, as long as everyone is medicated, I have time to blog, a little.

Posted by Joke at 10:04 AM 12 comments

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Upon recovery.

People!

As of the close of biznez today, I have my wife back until January-ish 2007. This means that between her time to recover and Spring Break, we're actually resembling a family. So I have that going for me.

Easter was fine. Went to the "family Mass" which, even though it's not as nearly as heavy on Ye Olde "yells, bells and smells" as I'd prefer, is still good...especially in light of the other options ovah heah. Even NTS joined in the renewal of his baptismal promises (which is VERY comforting, since so often it'd appear his had expired without warning) and Fr. S, realizing the pews were crammed with youngsters whose self-mastery was on the verge of evaporating, exercised impeccable timing. TFBIM thinks Fr. S is the cat's @$$.

We had the foresight to arrive a good 30 min. early, because (as those of you for whom this is a regular practice will attest) the pews tend to fill up fast with what Jujube calls "tourists" and displacing the more naive among the regulars. But the boys held it together (they have the whole stand-sit-kneel thing down pretty well), even though NOS pushed the envelope some. Then we went back to my sister's place for that most hallowed family tradition: the pool party.

Since Easter Bunny has never held much sway among Iberics, the Easter Egg Hunt was utterly devoid of that element of wide-eyed wonder and had a much more honest, if mercenary, character. At least ovah heah Easter hasn't become a "spring Christmas" giftwise. We had ham with a mustard-lemon glaze (sweet glazes are NOT an Iberic thing) and the aforementioned Reisling, plus assorted side dishes contributed by the assembled. The kids splashed and swam well into the evening. (I still hate DST, only I'm too beat to complain at the mo'.)

This all led to a solid day of not obsessing over my appalling lack of a suitable DVD player. But, not being accustomed to paralyzed inaction, I took the situation firmly in hand: I bought a this-will-do-for-now player on eBay (for those of you who lead lives blissfully unaware of the developments in home theatreness, there will soon come a format war between the upcoming HD-DVD and "BluRay" discs, and committing large funds before the battle is over is kind of stupid) and I am also--as per a little germ of an idea courtesy of the estimable BB bb--am strongly considering building my very own Home Theatre computer (HTPC) my own bad self.

As I was wandering aimlessly through the unDVDed desert, our home PC (i.e. the one the kids thrash daily) died on Saturday. While Our Redeemer liveth, this PC doesn't and will need replacing. I thought back to BB's bb's earlier message and the idea struck..."I'll just do get a PC that will fulfill the functions the eBayed Denon DVD2910 should have but won't." Further reinforcement of the idea came courtesy of Tax Day: a DVD player is not tax deductible, but a new PC is.

So, until I have to return to the office full-time, here is my new project:

http://www.audioholics.com/showcase/DIY/build_HTPC_1.html

-J.

Posted by Joke at 3:03 AM 14 comments

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Sunday Confession

Seeing as how I'm all about the Papist thing, and it's Easter Sunday, I feel EXTRA guilty about this confession:

I am deeply, DEEPLY envious of Badger's and Bec&Kim's templates.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 12:52 PM 8 comments

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Meme, self and I

Swiped from DaysGoBy:

I AM: Serenely self-confident.
I WANT: Peace and quiet.
I WISH: I had my sons' metabolisms.
I HATE: Selfish, cruel children and their abysmal parents.
I MISS: My grandmothers
I FEAR: Hubris.
I HEAR: you knocking, but you can't come in
I WONDER: What it's like to lead a tranquil life
I REGRET: much, but doubt nothing.
I AM NOT: self-judging
I DANCE: while seated
I SING: while driving
I CRY: rarely, but with sincerity
I AM NOT ALWAYS: kind or empathetic
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: Pasta
I WRITE: A lot of stuff that I wisely save as a draft.
I CONFUSE: those who half-pay attention to me
I NEED: a DVD player that does everything I want it to
I SHOULD: weed out a lot of my junk
I START: with the best intentions
I FINISH: at an unsustainable pace
I TAG: The usual suspects.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 2:33 PM 7 comments

Q: Why is tonight REALLY different from all the other nights?

A: Because tonight is the evening formerly known as Joke's All-Gentile* Seder.

I say formerly because actual Jews (and observant ones, at that) will make an appearance. My friends D & N and their VERY newbornish daughter will be here.

I actually make an effort to do two things:

1- Play it straight, and
2- Make the food yummy

Part of the reason I play it straight [seriousness] comes as a result of having a lot of Cuban-type affinity (today is the anniversary of the Bay of Pigs) and the theme** of "once thou wast a slave, and the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a strong arm" kinda resonates ovah heah.[/seriousness]

I make the food yummy because if I didn't my head would burst into eleventy gazillion flaming splinters.

Menu:

Hard Boiled Eggs and Salt Water
Gefilte Fish (I make it with fresh grouper and in the style of "quenelles")
Matzoh
Arugula & Frisée Salad with a Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Matzoh Ball (the trick is to make them VERY small and also to use very highly carbonated soda water) Soup
Haroset
Roast leg of lamb (trimming this is a COLOSSAL, monumental PITA...but worth it, because, frankly, lamb fat tastes like death and on top of that, it's like squirting silicone into your arteries)
Roast potatoes (roast w. the lamb and so as to maximize the EVOO/rosemary/garlic goodness
Roast carrots
Flourless chocolate cake

Everything, for the most part, has been made ahead. All I have to do is roast off things "low and slow" and make the vinaigrette. This gives me ample time to search the web for a replacement DVD player.

-J.

* Once, N's mom asked, incredulously, about the AGS "Do any Jews go to this?" to which I replied with a deadpan: "It's restricted."

** I'm all Douay-Rheimsish, but if you want to, KJV will suffice.

Posted by Joke at 9:44 AM 12 comments

All hail...

The mighty Peg!

She won the Guinness and Murphy's glassware and, therefore, she rules.

I'll mull over what the prize ought to be for the next contest.

-J.

P.S. Email me your snail mail address (joke . googlia @ gmail . com)

Posted by Joke at 9:27 AM 1 comments

So that you may ponder my mental state, and despair

OK.

Part of the reason for lightened bloggishness on my part has been the whole lead-up to Easter. On Spy Wednesday we had Tenebræ, on Maundy Thursday we had the whole In Cena Domini and I was hauled up to the altar to get my feet washed (which was a new experience for me and given my love for attention, just grand) and then processing to the altar of repose. Good Friday was all about fasting and abstaining and the liturgy (Good Friday is the one day in which Mass cannot celebrated...in fact there is no Mass until the Vigil on Holy Saturday). I even went to Confession*.

So, even though I could plausibly claim the lightened bloging is 100% due to all the pious stuff, made even more pious by the increased use of Latin, and Gregorian chants and incense (ye olde yells, bells and smells) that'd be a big fat fib.

The fact is I have (mis)spent much of my time looking for a replacement DVD player. You cuticle-chompers have no idea what inner turmoil and soul torment is until you have juxtaposed your pathological cheapskate (which recoils at expenditures over $100) side against your A/V geek side (which knows of DVD players that cost as much as a new Lexus).

If you know how many HOURS** I have evaporated doing research, you'd be aghast.

-J.

* Maybe I'm just getting older and duller, but confession is getting easier now as I have less juicy stuff to confess.
** Whatever number you have in your mind, triple it...unless you're Badger, Jujube or Poppy, in which case just double it.

Posted by Joke at 6:25 AM 2 comments

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Are You There God? It's Me, Joke.

Dear Internet,

The Easter Triduum is upon us and that means the bloggage will be light-ish for a few days. Those observing Easter/Passover, I pray God's abundant blessings reach you and your loved ones.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 2:36 PM 10 comments

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A harrowing nightmare of Biblical proportions

First, Blogger ate this damn post.

Second, and far, far more tragic, with deep implications for how much faith I place in the innate goodness of man, the benevolence of life, and the justice of it all...the DVD player in my Home Theatre died.

Of course, the more insensitive in this readership would just simply interrupt and say "Dude, just go down to Best Buy/Circuit City/HiFiHut and buy another one and come back bearing vodka."

But it's not that easy.

Nonononono.

I need very specific (what are you...new here?) criteria fulfilled:

1- It must be hackable to remove
a) That imbecilic regional coding,
b) HDCP coding, and ideally also
c) that unspeakably loathsome Macr-0-Vision
2- A DVI (not HDMI*) output
3- Upconversion to 720p AND 1080i
4- WMV compliance
5- DVD-A & SACD capable
6- Firmware upgradeable
7- Have 3:2 pulldown
8- Have a component output capable of upconverting (sh'yeah, right)

The horror, the horror...

-J.

* While yes, you can get an adaptor to let DVI and HDMI get all compatible, these two are like two mothers in law, who can exhange pleasant small chat until the conversation turns to politics.

Posted by Joke at 3:11 PM 16 comments

Stay tuned!

NTS has lost one of his front teeth and now looks like Alfred E. Neuman after a makeover.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 7:36 AM 3 comments

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

What? Again? Already?

Today, dear Internet is Drivelversary Day.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 1:55 AM 6 comments

Monday, April 10, 2006

When in Bored

Dear Internet,

Please watch A Mighty Wind. If nothing else, to see mega-Albino Ed Begley Jr., as a Swedish TV producer, rattling off hilariously in Yiddish.

Yes, I am bored.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 11:47 AM 9 comments

In a breach of Blog etiquette...

I simply MUST ask:

WHAT THE HELL is the big deal with chewing one's cuticles?

I tried this, for the sake of experimentation and, really, I mean, they don't taste particularly good...I didn't notice stress leaving my body. I didn't feel particularly better.

Worse, in fact, because some imbecile had chewed my cuticle and now I am worried friends will notice it and say: "Dude, WTF is wrong with your cuticle? It's all chewed up and looks like Hell."

I don't get it.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 8:27 AM 13 comments

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sunday Confessions (again)

1- I forgot what I was going to lead with.
2- Did the Palm Sunday thing with NTS (NOS & TFBIM were comatose sleeping in after JokeFest) and for breakfast I tore into JokeFest leftovers. With a Kosher-For-Passover Coke.
3- Kosher-For-Passover Coke is my favorite potable liquid in the world.
4- There is no more fearful convergence than realizing your wife
a) Has been working tax season hours (55-60/week)
b) Is expecting a horde of guests, and
c) Her . arrived, and it's one of those once/twice a year ones that qualifies as "from Hell."
and then see your son, foolish boy!, decide to talk back to her.

(This, I believe is a recipe for a particularly dangerous cross between werewolf-ism and a conniption. I think NOS's guardian angel needs to put in for hazard pay.)

5- There is no better feeling than having your spouse SINCERELY apologize. (Something of a rarity ovah heah.)
6- A close second is people raving over the food.
7- What I love most about my birthday is that, for a brief shining moment, I get to set the rules for all to follow and, most importantly, only my rules apply.
8- All that talk about the Cruise/Holmes baby reminded me how I specifically absented myself from the delivery room upon the birth of my sons. Sure, each time it cost me a TON of money (payable to my wife, in the form of jewelry) and and also, I had to carry out--and I humbly say, with great cheerfulness--all sorts of parenting tasks that dads often shun. Whatever the cost, it would have been worth the price. The stunned look on the nurse's face was just a bonus.

Now that I am further along my career path, I shudder at the cost should we ever have a 3rd baby.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 11:37 AM 6 comments

JokeFest (The aftermath)

Dear Internet,

I am WAY beat. If I were any more beat, I'd be a heterophobe in a coffeehouse in Greenwich Village in 1954, composing abysmal poetry that didn't rhyme and pondering goatee and sandal choices.

It goes w/o saying that JokeFest went over well.

Of course, my definition of "went over well" is that people at all the food, begged for recipes and asked for DNA that they may carry my clone in the uteri of the assembled. What I find interesting is that in every party I have gone to with great food, there is always SOMETHING that, for no discernible reason, fails to grip the palate of those in attendance.

The cocktails all went down swimmingly, as did a lot of the beer, wine and soda. The water bottles stayed pretty well untouched, because my pals are the sort of people who look askance at something so flavorless and devoid of mood-ameliorating compounds. The kids had sodas and a certain chubby son of a certain pal of TFBIM's guzzled his own weight in Sunkist. (He is simply crazy for all things orange and showed up arrayed in vivid orange.)

I should have taken pictures, I know. But I was busy cooking and drinking and hanging out.

The thing is that next year my actual birthday lands on Good Friday! Yikes.

The date for JokeFest '07 will need to be reconsidered, especially so that more pals from Blogville can show up.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 11:06 AM 11 comments

Friday, April 07, 2006

What Not To Eat

At first I thought this list would be lo-o-o-o-o-o-ong. I'd have to list brand names, additives, etc.

Then I realized this'd be not-what-the-purpose-of-the-list-was.

Here are foods I refuse to eat.

* Bell peppers
* Olives (unless diced so small they are unrecognizable as such, in which case their appalling flavor contribution is likely minimal)
* Liver
* Whole anchovies ("It's lahk eatin' an ah-brow.")

There lots of other things I'm not CRAZY about, but which I can tolerate for a one-shot deal.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 5:04 PM 16 comments

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Names and faces.

My beloved thinks I am terrible with names.

Which just isn't so.

What is (and shall remain just between us, m'kay?) the dirty little secret is that it's not that I can't remember the names of all her friends and friends' friends and friends' family.

It's that I don't want to.

I need the brain space to remember recipes, commercial jingles, old movie dialogue, obscure trivia, automotive factoids, home theatre specs and the like. I can't be wasting that on people whose personality cannot manage to, in my eyes anyway, rise above the mass of humanity out there.

I mean, really, economics is the science of allocating scarce resources, yes?

-J.

Posted by Joke at 11:01 AM 5 comments

For Jujube

http://thejokeblog.blogspot.com/2005/07/because-you-asked.html

Posted by Joke at 9:39 AM 1 comments

All is well.

I want you all to know that Contest #1 has been a success.

Julia & Jess got their cookbook and Braun blender thingy, respectively.

Peg is leading--handsomely--Contest #2, and stands poised to run away with both the Guinness and Murphy's glassware.

I would have thought that Badger would have practically owned this, but maybe she's just being modest.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 9:02 AM 3 comments

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Yet another in a seemingly endless series of JokeFest updates

OK.

This is what I have figured out will be the grub for JokeFest.

I shall fire up Ye Olde Porne Grille and I shall grill some pizzas:
1- Your basic pizza Margherita and, my fave,
2- Gorgonzola and caramelized onions,

both made from the fruits of my CrockPotTM.

Then, I'll make some ginormous panini on individual baguettes (I cannot make bread outside a bread machine, so I'll make do with bakery-bought stuff):

3- Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, arugula, prosciutto and EVOO
4- Grilled chicken, bacon, fresh spinach and provolone
5- Grilled eggplant, zucchini, summer squash and aioli

Then, in other assoted tidbits:

6- Spinach "dip" bruschetta (a riff on what Carolyn suggested, only this way there is no dipping required)
7- Mini crab cakes with a relatively spicy remoulade (hat tip to BB)
8- "Steak sarnies" (steak, grilled onions, lime-Dijon sauce)
9- Jerk pork (like Badger's pulled pork cheat, only with jerk spices) on toasted sourdough rounds
10- Vegetable hosomaki rolls

To drink:

1- An array of beers (Guinness, Corona w. lime, Boulevard Brewing Irish Ale)
2- Decent wines (Barbera red & Rias Baixas white, both eminently potable and VERY food friendly)
3- Limoncello sours
4- Cosmopolitans (as per TFBIM's explicit request)

Now you know.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 1:16 PM 20 comments

See? This is what I'm talking about.

It's 6:44am.

It's bloody dark outside.

YOU come and try to resurrect these comatose lumps of protoplasm usually described as my offspring because they have to go to the potty, brush their collective teeth, find the invariably lost elements of, and then put on their school uniforms, have breakfast, collect their school implements, and be out the door by 7:35am...all to the anguished cries of "but it's DARK outside."

Sux.

's all I'm saying.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 6:45 AM 12 comments

Monday, April 03, 2006

Like a birthday or Christmas in miniature.

I love getting cool stuff in the mail.

* This month's issue of Sports Car Market (which means Octane Magazine cannot lag far behind)
* A book I had won on eBay
* Some exchange stuff from Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts...they even threw in a TON of brass collar stays...woo hoo!

Little amuses the innocent,

-J.

Posted by Joke at 12:58 PM 6 comments

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sunday Confessions

1- I cannot think of any human being who looks good in sandals. Those who look like aging hippies fare worse than the rest.

2- I still hate Daylight Savings Time. It strikes me as one of those evils foisted upon us ages ago, like tax withholding or door-to-door soliciting or parking meters, that has become ingrained in our consciousness. But I still hate it.

3- People whose list of "Oh, I don't eat..." contains more than 5 items proscribed (for reasons other than health or faith) perplex me. Those who are vegetarians and hate most vegetables drive me to despair.

4- I suffer from terrible schadenfreude.

5- I firmly believe the vast majority of people who disagree with me are, frankly, intellectually vacant or lazy or both.

6- I'm sick of seeing flared jeans.

7- I have One Little Slip by Barenaked Ladies (from the Chicken Little soundtrack) REALLY stuck in my head.

That is all.

-J.

Posted by Joke at 12:19 PM 20 comments

Saturday, April 01, 2006

...and deservedly so.

It must be said, again.

Daylight Savings Time is here and verily it doth give most grievous suck.

I HATE Daylight Savings Time. I hate losing a perfectly good hour of sleep, especially since I normally only get four. Also, given that NTS inherited my insomnia gene, it means he's going to be up at 5am, instead of 6am. I hate daylight until 8pm (or worse, the further north you go). In fact, I'm not much of a fan of daylight. I'm all for it to the extent the crops can grow and all that, but, frankly, there is precious little I enjoy doing that cannot be in the absence of daylight.

Bah! Humbug!

-J., Moste Pyste Offe

Posted by Joke at 6:10 PM 10 comments

We now resume this blog, already in progress

OK, so that was my BiL (sister's husband, not wife's brother) on the phone. He is returning from KC, where, I understand it, he was visiting his uncle who, unfortunately, seems to be in the last stages of cancer*.

In lighter news, he was able to run a few errands for me. He scored the last case of Boulevard Brewing's Irish Ale (only brewed for St. Patrick's) which is THE best beer of this sort. FURTHERMORE, he was also able to score some Arrowhead Beef brisket (for a Texas-like BBQ thing I'm planning) and, while we're at it, some Arrowhead Beef "Flatiron" steaks.

And a jar of Gate's Extra Hot BBQ from the restaurant (i.e. w/o 0.1% that potassium benzoate preservative bull$#!+).

So life is good. Now, I must off to Nordstrom & W-S , as there are sales afoot.

-J.

* Those theologically minded, throw in a prayer for "Uncle Bob"

Posted by Joke at 8:22 AM 10 comments

Contest #2 Halftime Score

Leading in the category of most in common with my MP3 playlist (prize: his & hers Guinness tulip pint glasses): PEG.

Leading in the category of least in common with my MP3 playlist (prize: Murphy's tulip pint glass): PEG.

Contest ends Apr. 15 and, as usual, shipping is on me. (Daysgoby, has the blender thingy cleared Customs?)

-J.

Posted by Joke at 7:13 AM 3 comments