Friday, April 22, 2005

Habemus Papam

The other day I stopped by McDonald's and the drive through line was a little long so I went inside. I had to do a double-take when I walked it. It didn't look like any McDonald's I had been it. It had paintings hanging in the windows and one the wall. And not like clown paintings or something, like cafe paintings. It looked a like a Starbucks honestly. Everything behind the counter looks the same which is comforting and yet odd. It's as if there is some merging of alternate realities at the counter. I like the changes but I think I would need to sit not facing the counter. It's the one near Burnet and Braker. Anyone else seen this new type of spiffy MickeyDs?

I've been playing a good bit of Civilization III lately. Lloyd started talking about it the other day and I realized how much I wanted to play and since lately I have been looking for the answer to the what do I want to do question I figured I would try it out. Now I feel like Arvin Sloane reintroduced to Rambaldi. I'm thinking about doing a blog post covering my first game from a historical perspective once I finish. Yes I do get that into it. See the Alias reference above.

With all the pope stuff going on this week I spent a good bit of time on Wikipedia reading about the new pope and the old popes and that lead to a discussion of religion at work, always a dangerous thing. Spent a good bit of time talking about where people of different religions lived. All that kind of stuff is on Wikipedia and though relying on that site does scare me a little bit since anyone can make it say whatever they want I do love the amount of information they have.

Random quote I hadn't heard before that made me laugh out loud:
"Any 20 year-old who isn't a liberal doesn't have a heart, and any 40 year-old who isn't a conservative doesn't have a brain." - Winston Churchill

TV Update: Gilmore Girls, Scrubs, Desperate Housewives, The OC, Alias

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Storm

Friday night Melissa, Andy, Jerry, Melissa, and I went down to Frank and Angie's for some much needed Italian food which of course led to a giant prep Jerry for Italy session. Afterwards we headed back to the house to watch Back to the Future which Andy had never seen and the rest of can quote every line of. It had actually been a while since I had seen the whole thing straight through. Movies from childhood never do seem to get old. Anyway, so hopefully Andy will now get the jokes, which is the real reason for doing most things in life right?

Saturday Melissa and I went to Alamo Drafthouse to see Sin City. We hadn't been to Alamo in a while and I like the place and want to keep it around so I try to go when I can. Not so much that I will go see a movie at full price of course. Sin City seemed like one of the first movies of the year that was actually worth paying any money to see. If you want to see a dark violent graphic novel come to life, this is definitely your movie. If that sounds awful, you will hate this movie. Fritz says it better than I. It worked for me but I'm not sure I'd want to see another movie like it.

Later that day, I did some work in the yard. Nothing major just some trimming of the front yard bushes and some sweeping of all the yard clippings that I scalped off last week. I may have cut the grass a little short. Oh well. Melissa and I fixed some sandwiches and watched season one episodes of Friends on DVD. Then we went down to Mozart's to enjoy some coffee and dessert by the lake before the weather here gets oppressively hot. All around a nice night.

On Sunday, Jerry, Andy, and I went down to the airport golf course to attempt to get Andy into golf. I honestly have never seen someone so excited to play golf before. Things started off fairly well. I mean he hit the ball after a few tries and it went in the general direction of the green so that's good. Then ranger giving us hell about having two players using one bag wasn't so fun, but he seemed happier after I told him I would let others play through. Turns out, that wasn't a problem. Everyone on the course was about the same skill level as the three of us, meaning they all sucked, so we were able to keep pace. Andy shot about double par with the highlight being his tee shot on the par 3 3rd that skipped over the bridge. Jerry shot around a 58 with a number of nice almost in chips and putts. I shot around a 55 with a regulation par on the par 5 seventh. We quit after nine due to the weather. Afterwards, we celebrated with Casey's snowballs. Yum.

TV Update: Scrubs, The OC, Alias, Raymond, Arrested Development

Friday, April 15, 2005

Thank You, But Our Princess is In Another Castle

Nintendo music sung acapella AND acted out. Awful ... and yet awesome! I'm not which is my favorit part, the guy playing Link or the people playing Tetris pieces.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Last year I decided I really wanted to focus on golf. I set a goal to play once a month. Well, last year I played golf 13 times. Goal achieved. The next step in the golf saga was to get an official handicap. I joined the handicap thingy at Lions and submitted all my scores last year. Just the other day I picked up my very first official handicap card. Goal achieved ... but wait. The card lists my handicap index as 32.8. I mean really? No way I'm that good. And it turns out, I'm not. The card I have lists 16 scores. Now the first 8 or so seems right, but the later ones? 104, 103, 100, 102, yeah those aren't my scores. So hopefully after I clear this up I'll have a real official handicap that actually has something to do with how I play golf. Next goal: breaking 100.

Monday, April 11, 2005


So pretty much all i remember from Bridge on the River Kwai as a kid was that it had that whistling song I knew from The Parent Trap, they blew up a bridge, and ObiWan was in it. Years later I found out it was actually a highly respected movie. Melissa and I watched it Saturday night with Melissa and Andy. I really enjoyed it. The morality play aspect of it centering on Alec Guiness's character really sucked me in. I could have used more of that and less of the traipsing through the jungle stuff, but oh well.

On the DVD there was a trailer for Lawrence of Arabia. I have seen the movie but it got me thinking, who was fighting in that movie? Lawrence led the Arabs against whom? That led me to Wikipedia as questions like that often do. The Ottoman Empire is the answer and if you are getting confused, as I was, then I suggest you check out the short version of Middle East history.

TV Update: The OC, Lost, Scrubs, Alias, West Wing, Arrested Development, Desperate Housewives

Now to the real meat of the weekend, the Masters. Man what a show. The broadcast Saturday wasn't the best. Due to the rain, the leaders didn't get going till late and only got to play nine holes. Other than Tiger showing he was back in the hunt, not too much happened. By the time I woke up Sunday morning, Tiger had gone from 3 behind to 3 ahead. Tiger had charged with seven birdies in a row and DiMarco had fallen apart starting with a double on his first hole of the morning. I pretty much figured Tiger would run away from the field in the last round and DiMarco, though still close, would fall apart. I was pissed that the defining part of the tournament had occurred while I was asleep and while it was not on TV. Thank God I didn't bet on that.

Things started out almost as I expected them to. Tiger came out and birdied the first two holes. DiMarco, while not making as many birdies as he could, refused to fall apart. Then Tiger 3-putted the 5th hole for a bogey and I remember thinking, this could get interesting. But again, DiMarco just couldn't get the birdies going. The rest of the field at this stage is no where close so it's purely a slug fest between these two. After the front nine Tiger was still up by 3, but only up by 3, and as the cliche goes, the Masters doesn't start till the back nine on Sunday.

Tiger bogeys 10 and the lead drops to 2. DiMarco birdies 11 and the lead drops to 1. Melissa at this point says something like, "I didn't know golf could be this exciting." DiMarco bogeys 12, and the lead goes back to 2. Push on 13. DiMarco birdies 14 and the lead is down to 1. Push on 15. With only three holes left of the tournament Tiger has the lead by only one stroke, and DiMarco will not go away. Then the defining moment of the day, Tiger chips in from off the green to birdie the hole. Wow what a television moment. Melissa and I were jumping up and down and I almost beat a hole through the coffee table. DiMarco missed his birdie putt so the lead is now 2 with 2 to go. Tiger gets into trouble off the tee and really is lucky to come away with only a bogey.

One hole left and Tiger is only ahead by one stroke. The emotion of the chip-in seems like yesterday. Tiger winds up in the trap and DiMarco leaves it short. Tiger hits an OK sand shot and DiMarco's chip almost wins the tournament, but not quite. Tiger misses his par putt but DiMarco makes his to send us to a sudden death playoff. Unbelievable. Who would have predicted that? DiMarco winds up in the same place as a moment ago just in front of the green on 18, while Woods has a birdie putt. DiMarco makes a decent chip, but Tiger sinks his putt to win the tournament and his fourth green jacket. What a ride.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

little slice of heaven

Maybe it's just the fact that it's in HD. Or maybe it's the 56 minutes of golf action every hour. It could be the beautiful shots of the azaleas in bloom. Or it could be the shots of Rae's Creek at Amen Corner. It might just be the music that plays over the leaderboard. Whatever it is, the Masters is special, and is my favorite sports event of the year.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Who's FICA? Why is he getting all my money?

Here is a copy of an email I recently sent my elected officials. I used

First of all thank you for being part of the process and actually talking about social security. As a person in his twenties who has always assumed he might not get anything from the government come retirement time, it's nice to see those in the government facing this fact.

I am writing you today to pass on an article I read on Social Security. It says what I want to say in a much better fashion that I could. The basic idea is this. I would much rather Social Security function in the insurance role than in the entitlement role. I feel that is what it was intended to be. Also, I believe personal accounts are a bad idea. I do not like the idea of the government being involved that directly in the stock market.

Again, the article says all of this much better than I can. Give it a read. It will be worth your time.

Charles Dickey

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


It's been too long. I apologize. Let's get to it. Friday night we went to Ballet Austin's world premiere of Light with the Riches. It's a ballet about the Holocaust which means there's not really much I can say about it. I'll let Melissa handle the critical commentary if she wishes. I enjoyed it and thought the use of video on the scrim was a nice touch. Afterwards we made our usual trek to Chee Zee. I had Lemon Rosemary as usual, we still need to go there for dinner, and the stories about the man dressed up as a bunny were hilarious/horrifying.

Saturday we met up with my cousin Beth and her boyfriend Stephen who were in town visiting. The six of us, including Melissa and Andy, went walking on the trails in the Bull Creek Greenbelt and enjoyed skipping rocks and throwing rocks at a fire hydrant in the middle of a stream. None of that was a typo. Sometimes when I looked down the path, I expected the wind to kick up and a Nazgul to come into view. Yes that means I worked Nazgul into back to back blog posts. Saturday night we had a dinner party in honor of the soon to be married Melissa and Andy. Everyone had a good time, even those of us who prepared a little less than we should have, ate our salads in the kitchen, and picked wax off the candlesticks. But seriously, it went well, and I hope everyone had an enjoyable evening.

Sunday the family six had brunch at Cafe Java and then the travelers headed back home. Melissa and I spent the rest of the day doing nothing. Hooray doing nothing!

The weekend before last was Easter weekend. Let's go through that quickly. Luggage didn't make connecting flight, rode in Chris's new Jeep something, had shrimp po-boy from Super Popeye's, had breakfast at La Cuisine, luggage delivery is nice, weather sucked in Waveland but played beach volleyball anyway, I stink at Halo 2 but enjoyed playing with my cousins despite that, Uno of Death, I have become an EC, Melissa rode on the back of a Harley in a skirt, Isabel is cuter than ever.

GT4 update: Finally got to 25% which opened up the Endurance races which no human is meant to complete but it's fun to do on B-spec overnight and watch the cash roll in. We have like 1.5 mil now. Not sure what all races we finished. I remember one Jerry made me do which was difficult but doable and that was a nice change of pace. Oh and rally driving sucks.

Here's what we have watched this week that I remember: Desperate Housewives, Desperate Housewives, Simpsons, Lost, Scrubs, Arrested Development, Felicity rerun with Noel's smart powder, Felicity rerun with Jennifer Garner, Joan of Arcadia, West Wing, Alias.