Monday, July 31, 2006

Proud of Our Priorities

You have to feel a certain sense of shame when your country's most popular news network (CNN) puts Mel Gibson in the same set of headlines as the horrible situation in the Middle East. Somehow, I stomached about an hour of CNN tonight. Alien vs. Predator was better.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Another Good Weekend

Two great weekends in a row. This weekend we were house sitting and dog sitting for a friend of ours. Thus, we got to bring a yellow lab into our new house (named Callie). I love dogs. I think that having a dog around our house just might have convinced us that it might be ok to have our own...we'll see. Another friend of ours has two rescued daschund puppies (actual picture to the right) that need a new home. A daschund is quite different than an lab though.

In addition to the visiting dog, more yard work was done, including about 2 hours of hedge trimming. Sunday night included 3 soccer games in a row (each 60 minutes long). It was s soccer marathon in about 90 degree weather, 87% humidity. It was a sweat fest with 2 wins and a tie.

Tomorrow, another trip north that includes both NJ and VA. After this week of travel though, I think I am home for about a month. Looking forward to that.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Decision Making

I'm facilitating design/analysis sessions all week - something I really enjoy doing. I do not apply the 'shut your coffee hole' decision making style. Maybe I just like that term "coffee hole." I also like the phrase "well played." All around, this is a good Dilbert strip.

The Mothman Prophecies

Alexander Leek: 'If there was a car crash ten blocks from here, that window washer would probably see it. Now, that doesn't mean he's God, or even smarter than we are, but from where
he's sitting, he can see a little farther down the road.'

John Klein: 'I think we can assume that these entities are more advanced than us. Why don't they just come right out and tell us what's on their minds?'
Alexander Leek: 'You're more advanced than a cockroach, have you ever tried explaining yourself to one of them?'

(This movie is definitely worth staying up until 2 or 3 am watching.)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Crappy Travel Movie of the Week

Travel weeks are littered with crappy late night movies that suck me in. This week, the winner of the crappiest movie may be AVP: Alien vs. Predator. Predator went down hill when Arnold dropped the role and Alien should have stopped at 2. Of course, it is only Monday so who knows what wonderful treats the TV has in store.

Good Weekend

Overall, we had a good weekend. We got the chance to see some old friends, had a birthday party for another friend, did some yard work, played some soccer (scored a few goals), watched some soccer, and made some good food. Carlee made a great gazpacho. I've only had gazpacho once or twice. This was really pretty damn good.

Cleaned out the gutters this weekend. There was a layer of soil in the gutter that was about 2 inches deep. That is soil from decayed leaves. They needed the attention badly.

Headed to Trenton tomorrow.

Update: Forgot to mention - Carlee scored 1 goal! And she had multiple assists! She had a good game this Sunday.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Word Verification

I was hit by spam comments again. 50 this afternoon. Thus, I am turning on word verification. I am not a fan of having to do this but oh well. Hopefully it doesn't discourage any of you from dropping a quick hello every once in a while.

While I am mentioning it: thanks for reading.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Back in Black - Fake News

I needed some laughs today so I was glad when I found this.

Lewis Black is great and this is one of the better segments I have seen by him - touching on fake news and real news.

A Middle East Ceasefire

Found on The Independent.

Busy with Spam

256 comments posted to my blog last night. All auto-generated by some spam engine. What a pain. I am really looking forward to the has been a long week.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Zidane/Materazzi Verdict

The Zidane/Materazzi verdict was handed down today. Both players received suspensions and fines. Zidane, in light of the fact that he retired, volunteered to do some community service instead. He's such a sweetheart.

Collect all of the animated gifs of Zidane and his moment of glory that you could ever want over at the Register. You gotta go to page two and check out the Hannibal Lecter version.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Prejean's Review

So the first lunch date is in the books. I should clear up why we chose Prejean's as for those of you who know, it is 20 minutes from our house: We had a gift certificate there that I won in the Fly Lafayette club (which I will have to tell you about someday). Anyway, a $15 gift certificate is a great way to get a cheap lunch.

I had the Crabcake Covington. "100% Blue crabmeat, secretly fried and topped with crawfish sauce Louis. Served with eggplant & okra Creole casserole, dirty rice, and a fresh, garden green salad." Carlee had the Shrimp Diane. "Fresh gulf shrimp sautéed with mushrooms, scallions, & fresh herbs and tossed in a shrimp butter cream served over steamed rice."

The food was good. I could use a little more cajun seasoning in my crab cakes - which is a weird thing to say about a cajun restaurant that is a major attraction for out of towners. Overall though, the food was also a little heavy for lunch. The service was great. The bread was just ok (sorry anonymous). I thought their parmesan vinaigrette was damn good. I would go back again and try the Cajun Rack of Elk. That sounds good. If you are looking for a good cajun restaurant with a great atmosphere, my favorite since I have moved here is the Blue Dog Cafe.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Arena's New Job - Red Bulls Head Coach

Bruce Arena, the former head coach of the US men's national team, was named the head coach of the Red Bulls in NY today. I'll be really curious to see how the team does with him at the helm. More curious who is going to take over the national team spot. Everyone's sweetheart is Klinsmann - the German coach who took his team to 3rd place. Personally, I wonder if he would have been as successful if the tournament was not in Germany...maybe we will get to find out. Right now, US fans are left looking to the future with hope for a new leader.

Human Space Invaders

I told you I like kottke right? So I am just repeating their content to you because they are hitting on all cylinders for me. You can criticize me if you like. That'll criticize me until you get to watch space invaders created with human stop-motion video. Pretty funny.

In-N-Out Burgers

So one of my regular reads is a site called Not sure where I originally found out about this site but I recommend it. There is a constant wave of new content and it spans the gamut. Today, the site had a small post comparing In-N-Out burgers to Shack Burgers. I have never had a Shack burger but I had the opportunity to go to an In-N-Out in California a while back. It was a damn good burger. I bought a t-shirt. We have photos of us in front of it. It was good.

Somehow, in this vote, Shack Burgers win. Although I just looked and the Shake Shack is not a chain. This distinction is not quite clear in kottke's review. However, if I am ever in Madison Square Park, I know where I will get lunch. If you ever see an In-N-Out burger, I recommend you do the same.

Lunch Dates! Prejean's

I travel a lot for work. In addition, when I am home for work, I work a lot. Carlee doesn't travel a lot but she definitely has a jam packed schedule. That said, one of the cool things Carlee and I are now doing is making sure we get out to lunch together once a week when I am home. As we are both busy, this should be an interesting calendar juggling act. Tomorrow we are headed to Prejean's - a cajun classic. Which (someone will shoot me for saying this), despite having lived in Acadiana for 6 years, I have never been to. Well...maybe once...but I am not 100% sure about that. Based on the medal count, I expect it to be pretty damn good.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Prestige

Have you heard about this movie? This looks cool enough to get me back in the theater...and it has been close to a year. The Prestige.

Talking with Your Mouth Full

Ignoring all of the reasons and context regarding this latest incident and our noble leader that might frustrate you...I have to say that the real annoying thing about it is to hear him talk with his mouth full. Click here to listen to Bush drop the s-bomb on the Israel-Lebanon conflict.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

New Additions

The last week has seen some exciting new additions to our house. The first is 40 inches of flat screen goodness and looks like this from the side. Not sure if this was necessary or not but watching the World Cup final in HD, with our stereo hooked up to this little guy was pretty awesome.

By the way. For $3/month HDTV service is totally worth it. Especially if you are a sports fan.

New addition number 2! The Lawn-Boy. Bought this afternoon and put to use within 30 minutes. This was the second purchase that wouldn't fit in the hybrid so we had to borrow our friend's truck (thanks Retired! - I accidentally set all of your radio presets to NPR...not sure how that happened).

We got the one in the foreground - with the size of our lawn, the self propelled walk behind is perfect. Based on today's first usage, it looks like it is a 40 minute job or so. Getting the lawn mower up and running took about 10 minutes. Figuring out to assemble the gas can so that the pour spout was hooked up right...20 minutes.

New additions number 3 and 4! Hedge trimmer and the "Grass Hog" trimmer. Home Depot was a big fan of us today. We haven't put the 'hog' to use yet but the trimmer did a kick ass job on the bushes in the front of the house.

The shed is slowly filling up.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


What is redistricting? What is gerrymandering? Get past the first 30 seconds of Ze just being Ze and he gives a pretty damn funny definition with Tom Cruise as a metaphor.

Good stuff - worth your time.


When I was in my last year and a half of college (so far I have only been tempted once or twice to break my vow about never going back), I realized that I was not born to be a Financial Systems expert. Stocks and bonds were just not up my alley. Instead, anthropology became my new love. I took independent studies on cognitive science and signed up for as many electives in the field as I could find at a technical school.

After I graduated though, I never really followed up on it...

I am not saying that I regret that though. I would have to say that my career thus far has been incredibly rewarding and I love what I do. But sometimes some things make you wonder what might have been - no matter how unrelated they are. So all this goes to say that I found some thing the other day that I thought was really interesting on a site called

This site, has an interesting visual representation of 32 different cultures. Here are two examples, Costa Rica and England.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

See Jane Run

Courtesy of kottke and found on:

58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
42% of college graduates never read another book.
80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.


I'm currently on a Tom Clancy kick (I haven't updated my sidebar in months) - Executive Orders. Jack Ryan stories are good brain candy.

ADIDAS Football Fresco - Cologne

Back when we were in Germany (sigh) I posted from Cologne, which has an amazing cathedral. My buddy "retired" mentioned that he could see WWII damage on that building...and I have yet to question him on that but I mean to. Anyway. The train station in Cologne had a giant Sistine Chapel like fresco on the ceiling which was completely awesome. I stumbled on a web site that has the whole fresco for your viewing pleasure. Check it out - it's pretty impressive. Check out the zoomed jpeg of it as well.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Why Zidane Attacked Materazzi

The sporting world continues to be infatuated with the events that took place in the World Cup final. The opinion is almost unanimous, Zidane lost his cool, went crazy and experienced a complete loss of control. But perhaps we all got it wrong. Perhaps we are all missing the real reason. Perhaps Zidane wasn’t driven to rage by a racist remark. Perhaps he just took advantage of a golden opportunity to become the next star of Joga Bonito.

Joga Bonito, commonly known as the beautiful game, but literally meaning "play beautifully," has been one of the commercial moments of genius during this World Cup – Nike took control of the airways and inspired fans around the world with this brilliant piece of marketing. The commercials glamorize the Brazilian style of soccer – the amazing rhythm and movement of the world’s greatest team. But Brazil let the world down, playing a lack luster and uninspired tournament. Almost any other team would probably have been pleased with a showing like Brazil’s. However, in the world of Joga Bonito, the Brazilians were anything but.

The spokesman of Nike’s commercials was one Eric Cantona. In addition to being one of the great football players of the 90’s (winning 4 English Premiership titles in 5 years), Eric is also known for some truly “beautiful” moments on the pitch. The following image captures his most beautiful:

In interviews after the game, when asked about his kung fu kick aimed at an abusive Crystal Palace fan, Eric’s response to questions was: "When the seagulls... follow the trawler... it's because they think... sardines will be thrown into the sea."

(Check out the faces of the people in the stands. Insane.)

Perhaps, just perhaps, while the rest of the world is busy criticizing Zidane for a moment of weakness, perhaps it really was a moment of supreme clarity. Who better to spearhead the Joga Bonito movement into the 2010 era for South Africa than the man who stole the story, the man who won the golden ball, the man who may just have topped a king fu kick into the crowd by lining up an Italian in his sights and charging him like a bull, rewarding the dives and pretty boy antics of the Italians with a most un-cindrella like finish to a glorious career. His phone may be ringing as we speak, Nike on the other line, plotting the next commercial. So far, the only place that Zidane has fallen short is by not responding to the queries of the world with a French haiku.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

YouTube of Zidane Attacking Materazzi

Ditto. Go here.

Animated GIF of Zidane Attacking Materazzi

The title says it all. Go here.

Headed North

Headed north tomorrow - sunny Trenton. Here is my favorite part about Trenton. This is the sign that is on the Lower Free Bridge which crosses the Delaware between Trenton, NJ and Morrisville, PA.

Zinédine Zidane - The Human Defibrillator

"Human Defibrillator" - That was the way I heard one announcer describe it on TV tonight. I would have expected to be posting a brief entry about the new world champions, but instead, I am in a state of disbelief just like every other football fan. If you missed the last overtime of the Italy vs. France game, you missed a piece of history. In general, a World Cup final is history in the making anyway. But with the game being the last appearance of one of the sport's greatest athlete's of all time, the game had added weight. With minutes left though, Zidane appeared to temporarily lose his sanity, lined up the Italian Marco Materazzi, charged him like a bull, and completely annihilated him.

The action resulted in Zidane ending his career with a downcast walk past the biggest achievement the sport has to offer. What an emotional and shocking experience. Personally, I was disappointed, angry, proud (not sure why...some sort of "that Italian had it coming and man did he get him good!" reaction), empathetic, sad, depressed, confused. It was simply crazy. I have a ton of respect for Zidane as a player and it remains. I think the dust needs to settle before I figure out how I truly feel about this one. Obviously it was a huge mistake. Don't get me wrong.

The game itself was great. Exciting to watch and dominated by the French. Anyone who tells you otherwise is an Italian.

Congrats to the Azzuri though. Their defense was pretty solid. Their captain Cannavaro was superb and is one of the few Italians I thought shined in the game. He had an excellent tournament and he deserves this moment pictured below.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tough to Comprehend

Imagine that:
a. You are one of the best in the world at what you do.
b. You are given the chance to win the biggest championship in your sport.
c. Your sport is the biggest in the entire world.
d. The championship only comes once every 4 years.
e. Based on frequency, the odds are that you will never have this chance again.

That's how big Sunday is. It is the biggest game in the life for the world's best. Pretty amazing.

"Italian Match Fixing Scandal" Fatigue

I have decided that I am tired of hearing commentators compliment the Italian national team for rising above the scandal that is wreaking havoc on the Italian soccer league, the Serie A. My respect for their ability to succeed despite potentially being involved in match-fixing is limited. It is further tempered by their dive ridden behavior in group play. Sunday, during the finals, I expect to hear about the amazing bond the Italian players have due to this scandal. I expect to hear it every 10 minutes - a minimum of 9 times during the game and at least twice afterwards. 5 times before the game. So my bet is on 16 references.

Decorating by Proxy

In other news...the votes are in and Pumpkin Cream is the new color of our den (the room Carlee likes to call the library). Most votes came in after we made progress...most likely due to the holiday - making the voting slightly academic. However, we finished painting today, sore wrists, cramping forearms, and with only a few arguments under our belt. It dries as we speak and now I am waiting for the Great Pumpkin.

With one room down, the rest of the house seems less intimidating to paint. In addition, we have decided to "decorate by proxy" as Carlee is calling it. As we tackle each room, we will have some on-line blog voting to help make the hard decisions. Not sure when the next room will be up for voting - personally, I plan on taking a week off from painting. I need the recovery time.

For those who are curious, after we get the book shelves back up, I'll post a "finished" picture (probably in a day or two) so you can see what the room looks like when we are done. Thanks for the help!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

France Advances (defeating Portugal 1-0)

France advances! This was another great game to watch. With the game winning goal by Zidane in the first half off of a PK. Henry was taken out in the box and the foul looked legit to me no matter how many replays I saw. I have to admit that Portugal owned the second half, except for the first 5 minutes or so. France's defense was a wall despite the pressure, and quality opportunities were few and far between.

We were so close to having to watch Cristiano Ronaldo roll around on the ground, cry like a baby, step over the ball 6 times in a row with no result or purpose, and make weird smacking faces with his lips for another 90 minutes. Phew. I will give him his necessary props though, he was ripping down the French sideline today and looked very dangerous. Thank God he never converted. Like I mentioned before, an Italy vs. Portugal final would have been too much for me to bear - the diving and acting would have been over the top.

So we all get to watch Zidane for one more game. Let the magic happen.

Allez les blues.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Great Paint Showdown (Den Version)

Per request. Your votes can be cast. Pick your paint choice for our new den. My preference is the Rustic Brick. Carlee prefers the Pumpkin Cream. Personally, I feel the Rustic Brick is more fitting for a den.

Carlee may argue that I really wanted Salsa or Nacho Cheese but I will go ahead and remind her now that Rustic Brick was my first choice. Really, it was. And truly, Nacho Cheese is just as cool but I am playing this hand with Rustic Brick.

So the incumbent is to the left (Pumpkin Cream). The challenger is to the right (Rustic Brick). Cast your vote (you loyal readership of 5). Personally, if I get more than 5 votes on this gig, I just may consider this the way we pick the paint for the rest of the house.

Catching Up 2.0: The Dilbert Blog

I am continuing to play a little catch-up on my internet reading (although this one was actually forwarded to me by my wife, after all, I do work during the day). Why would Scott Adams form his own army?

This is "laugh out loud in public thus making strangers eye you like you are crazy" funny.

Pumpkin Cream and Creme Caramel

I spent an hour or so today pretending to pick out colors for the first room in the house that we have decided to paint. I call this room the den but I am not sure it has an official "agreed to" name yet. I say "pretending to pick out colors" because really, my job was just to agree with whatever Carlee picked. Over the cash register was a sign that read: "Husbands that are picking out paint colors without their wives require a note." Very nice. The colors that we walked out of the store with are in the image to the left (recreated on Benjamin Moore's website). I'll be celebrating July 4th with a paint roller in one hand.


2 Years ago today in Grasmere, England - a small town in the northern lake district - I proposed to Carlee. It took me 5 years to ask the question. Carlee likes to joke that I am a person motivated by "urgent needs" and crises...she has yet to realize that this event contradicts her theory.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Best World Cup 2006 Goals (So Far)

The World Cup Blog has 5 YouTube videos on this page where you can see what this one author believes to be the top 5 of the tournament so far. Two Argentinian goals are there: one with 28 passes; one with the volley by Maxi Rodriguez that sunk Mexico. The latter is my favorite so far - if you have not seen this goal, you have to go check it out.

World Cup Withdrawal

No games today...which might be a good thing because it allows me to be semi-productive around the house. When this tournament is over I have no idea how I will fill my time. I have no doubt that I will definitely be going through some withdrawal after July 9th.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Emotional Roller Coaster

My father once commented to me that soccer was amazing because of the range of emotions that can occur within a 90 minute span of time. How true.

England Eliminated, France Advances

An up and down day for me. England drops to Portugal and now I have to watch the Portugal players dive for another 90 minutes (I pray they are eliminated in regulation by France). Rooney picked up a red for stepping on a Portugal player's crotch. Kind a of bad decision on Rooney's part.

Following the disappointment, France went on and defeated Brazil. Zidane was a master in the middle and although it is sad to see the Brazilians eliminated, I think the French played more of the beautiful game today than the Brazilians. In fact, most of the tournament has been a little bit of a let down as far as Brazil's style of play. There were moments, but nothing close to the magic that is possible.

I would like to see a France - Germany final. The worse case scenario will be an Italy - Portugal final. I don't think there would be more than 1 minute of play without a dive, whistle, and a crying player on the pitch.

Kahn and Lehmann

The Germany - Argentina game yesterday was a thriller that went all the way to PK's. There were some great moments when Kahn and Lehmann spoke before and after the PK's. Kahn was replaced in goal by Lehmann prior to the cup - which was a pretty big deal because Kahn is a national hero in Germany. Something tells me that Lehmann could end up being just as big. He saved two PK's against the Argentinians yesterday. He guessed right on every kick. It was an impressive performance.