Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cinematic Milestone

Movies are your best entertainment value.  The popcorn, on the other hand...The last movie I saw in a theater was "American Splendor" back in November of 2003. The birth of our daughter later in the month pretty much put the kabosh on such activities for the next, oh, four years and eleven months.

Last Saturday, however, I finally returned to the movie-going segment of the population when Michelle Mariel and I went to see "WALL-E" at the local $2 movie complex.

Over the Summer, Mariel had become somewhat obsessed with the idea of seeing "WALL-E" in a theater.

I am happy to report that we had a very successful outing. She sat patiently waiting for the lights to dim and enjoyed all the coming attractions. (Egads, they just puke up these CGI animated features anymore!)

A big bonus was that a short ("Presto!" by the PIXAR guys) was included before the feature. It was funny & fast paced.

Mariel sat in rapt attention through the first hour of "WALL-E." She loved all the Earth-bound scenes, especially when WALL-E and EVE get together.

Her interest waned once the action shifted to the mother ship that had been careening through the universe for 700 years.

In a very sweet voice she whispered to me, "Can we go home now?"

And that's just what we did.

I hope she'll have fond memories of her "first movie."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

CraigsList Redeemed


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Craig's List? Craig's Pissed!

I have been trying to get rid of our 1996 Grand Caravan, off and on, since August.

The ten day ad in the Fayetteville Observer classified section garnered two calls and two no-shows. It was during this time that I discovered the air conditioning we paid $250 to have fixed in July completely stopped working.

The van sat fallow for the month of September because I was so swamped with preparing for that audit at work. During this time, however, a co-worker hipped me to the fact that there was a CRAIGSLIST for Fayetteville! Not only that, but he actually knew people who bought and sold stuff successfully using it.

So, I put the van up on Craigslist last Sunday. I listed it at approximately $2,000 below the Kelly Blue Book value and mentioned the inoperable A/C issue.

I immediately got five emails!

Three of the emails begged for me to send them digital photos.

I replied, explaining that I did not have a digital camera, but if they wanted to come out for a look and a test drive here is my phone number.


I re-listed it on Thursday with a stock photo of a green1996 Caravan. I explained that it was a stock photo and that I did not have a digital camera, but would be happy to arrange for viewings and test drives. I included my phone number, in hopes that people would call, rather than e-mail for photos.

I got an email from a fellow who wanted know if (1) there were any service lights on and (2) did I have a clear title?

I replied that the answers were (1) no and (2) yes.

He responded by saying he would like to come out on Saturday "around lunch time" to look it over. I gave him my phone number, address and a mapquest map to my house.

Yep. He never showed.

The following is directed to these Craiglist time wasters:






[insert long string of curse words here]

Friday, October 10, 2008


Back in 1998 when I got my first computer with a scanner & color inkjet printer, I went all nerdy and started making up inserts for my collection of cassettes.

A waste of time and resources, to be sure...

Little did I know that a few short years down the line I'd foresake my cassettes and waste all my time burning CD-Rs and making CD jewel case inserts.

I guess that's progress.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

TV Series Idea

Have I mentioned that I do not watch much television? Due to our rotten reception of signals via our rabbit ear antenna, we only ever see PBS on any kind of a regular basis. Also, our daughter tends to monopolize the TV set with her My Little Pony, Veggie Tales, Clifford, Wiggles, etc. videos.

But I understand there is an over-ripe trend called "reality programming" that is being beaten to death. I have not watched a micro-second, ever, of Big Brother or Survivor or Hell's Kitchen or That One With That Trump Guy.

That will not stop me from pitching my own "reality series" idea, though. Here it is:


A floundering company is examined as they circle the rim into closure.

A baseline episode would document their problems. Cash flow. Personnel Issues. Management structure and style. Customer problems. Whatever.

Then, "Team Turnaround" would be let loose. This would be a group of consultants that would attack and correct each problematic area. Engineers could review manufacturing issues. Accountants would go over the books. HR specialists would review and improve HR issues.

Will managers be "voted off the island?"

Will money-losing scrap and waste centers be identified and eliminated?

Will the company flat line or recover?

Will there be champagne or pad-locked gates?

Sounds like a compelling idea. Well, to me, anyway.

Of course, I wouldn't get to watch it, what with the rabbit ears and all...