20 Questions Tuesday: 171 - Chris Burnham

It is Tuesday again, and I am ready to post this bad boy... today I am posting to both the blogspot site and the new and shiny tumblr site... it is shiny... so so shiny. Get ready folks, I am porting over to tumblr...

I belong to a comic book artists forum called Ten Ton Studios. If you go through my archives you might see some of the work that I have posted there. Anyhooo.... one of the “officers” over there is a fellow by the name of Chris Burnham. He is one of the most detailed pencillers I have ever seen. His lines are chock full of potential energy that you can almost see them vibrate off the page. He is technically precise, while allowing himself to be almost whimsical with some of his shapes.

I asked him if he had any books to plug and he suggested (his words, not mine)Officer Downe: Bigger Better Bastard Edition - an oversized hardcover edition of last year's sold out critical smash, complete with all new art & backup features” as well as Batman, Inc.: Leviathan Strikes #1. Both of these books are slotted to come out in December of 2011. Officer Downe on December 7th (hmmm 70 years ofter the attack on Pearl Harbor? Coincidence? I think not) and Batman, Inc coming out later that month.

Enough of the jibber jabber! On to the questions:

So when I was in high school, I was quite un-abashedly a comic book geek and a nerdy nerd from Old Nerdtowne... Question 1: How would you have classified yourself in High School and looking back, how would you classify your high school self now?
High school... I'd say that I was an upwardly mobile nerd. I had a pretty solid squadron of fellow nerdy types but I mixed pretty well with everyone else. I went to a really small private school - my graduating class was something like 54 people - so everyone got to know everyone else pretty well. Which has its pluses and minuses... Sidebar: in 7th 8th and 9th grade I was a SUPER dweeb and a real late bloomer (I'm 6'3" now, but at the beginning of freshman year I was shorter than my mom, who is 5'4"), and I feel like that nerdy rep followed me through the last three years of high school. Or perhaps it was all in my head and I was the only one who thought I was still a nerdy little twerp. Heh... my junior year I went away to Spain for the fall semester, and became a pretty popular dude with a really attractive girlfriend. (Hi, Leah!) That school was really eclectic and weird... the popular kids were all writers & musicians rather than lacrosse players, so I think I fit in a little better there and it gave me a new chance to figure out how a new group of people would perceive me. ANYHOW, when I came back to Pittsburgh I have a very specific memory of a couple of girls I'd gone to school with for the last four years giving me a "Whoa, look at Chris Burnham all grown up" look... but then I immediately launched into a discussion about the markets in Spain selling bull testicles and skinned rabbits, and they snapped right back to "What the fuck is wrong with that dude?" Haha. Bitches.
 Looking back, I definitely could have dated a lot more girls... I think the key is actually talking to them rather than creepily leering at them from across the lunchroom. Who knew? But then again, if I were a swinging dick stud in high school, maybe I would have knocked up my girlfriend and had to work in the plant to feed my family and never been able to follow my dreams & draw comics for a living. And I've got a great lady, to boot (Hi, Erin!), so I guess it's worked out pretty well.

I see that you have answered questions like this before. This 20 Questions should go really well... So Question 2: So people's art evolves over time, it is part of the artistic process. Art should grow and change, sometimes gradually and sometimes radically. For me, one of my earliest shifts occured when Walt Simonson took over X-Factor way back in the day. The angularity of his lines and the chunky spot blacks that he uses to denote soft rounded objects was incredible. Can you think back to anytime when your work has had one of these radical alterations, and if so, what do you think was the catalyst for that evolution?
I can think of two big style shifts. When I was first trying to break in around ten years ago I was trying out a bunch of different styles... from a Jim Starlin / John Buscema sort of thing to trying to be John Totleben to Katsuhiro Otomo, without much success. Granted, I was doing a terrible job of marketing myself... if I would have put my stuff on Penciljack at that point I'm sure my career would have taken a drastically different turn. Anyhow, when I moved here to Chicago I started developing this character, Valentine, with my roommate Nathan Allen. He was a pulpy spy-smasher sort of character and I thought that trying to do an open linework David Lloyd sort of thing would be perfect. I tried the style on one little sketch, saw that it worked, and jumped right into inking the story! We printed up 1,000 copies of this 14-page ashcan and gave them to everyone. I started getting work based on that, and for the next few years I worked pretty exclusively in a David Lloyd/Milton Caniff/Jean Paul Leon sort of style. Heavy black brushwork, not much detail.

A few years later I read an article about Richard Starkings starting up Elephantmen. I'd given him the Valentine ashcan, he really liked it, and we'd kept in occasional email contact. So out of the blue I emailed him to ask if I could do an Elephantmen backup. He agreed, and as I was flipping through Ladronn's Hip Flask artwork to look for reference and inspiration I became taken with the idea of applying some Milton Caniffish shadows to Ladronnish linework. It worked pretty well and my career took off with Elephantmen leading to Nixon's Pals to Fear Agent to X-Men to Marvel Mystery... And it's been a much more subtle growth since then... adding in some Darrow for Officer Downe and then mixing in some Quitely for Batman.

That was some significant sequential art name dropping going on there. Truth be told, I am going to need to spend a good day just looking for these references. Clearly some of them I know off the top of my head, but others are a bit more obscure. Question 3: How would you describe your style to someone who is not versed in the nuances of sequential art and its artists?
Oh, jeez... hopefully it comes across as detailed art with dynamic compositions and clear storytelling. I dunno! I certainly draw the shit out of backgrounds and people getting killed in horrible ways.

Boy! Howdy! You do know how to off some people in bizarre ways... always well-done, but Bi-Zarre. Question 4: Your work seems to be almost made for Bat-stories, is there a character or book out there that you dream of regularly drawing?
I'd love to try my hand at the New Gods, who seem to be alive and kicking again. I wouldn't want to draw Kalibak or Desaad, tho... Kirby killed those guys himself and I think they should stay dead.

I dunno, maybe do Challengers of the Unknown as kindof a Tom Strong or Planetary sort of thing? Or the Fantastic Four? Or adapt Thor's Journey to Utgard somehow?

So, you have a near encyclopedic knowledge of all things sequential art and/or comic book-ish. This means, that you must pretty much eat, drink, sleep, and breathe comic books. Which leads to my Question 5: when you are not drawing/reading/signing/etc... comic books, what do you do? Your vocation is my hobby, so what are your hobbies, what does a Chris Burnham do during his down time? (was that Inside the Actors’ Studio enough of a question?)

Heh. I suppose I don't really have one at the moment. Yikes! I listen to a lot of forensic shows... I've seen/listened to just about every episode of Unsolved Mysteries, Cold Case Files, Forensic Files, Disappeared, Dateline, 48 Hours, The First 48, Crime 360, all that shit. Disappeared is the best show of its kind ever. Discovery ID. Live it!

Kids, if you're ever arrested for anything, shut up and get a lawyer! The cops ain't got shit on you!

(Also, don't commit any crimes)

Question 6: Do you see any of your love for forensic procedural shows creeping into your books or, worse yet, your daily life? For example, Wow, Honey, if I were mad at you, this ditch would be a perfect place to hide your blood drained body. I could dump a 50 pound bag of lye on it and the remains would be nigh unrecognizable... Please pass the salt.
Hmm... The more of these shows I watch, the more I'm convinced that the only way to get away with murder is to kill a random stranger... and where would be the fun in that? Err... what I mean to say is killing is wrong, kids!

I CAN recall one night after I'd gone on a serious forensic binge, and I could not sleep... my brain was stuck on murder mode and I seriously could not think of anything for more than 5 seconds before my brain spun it around to murder or prison. It was absolutely terrible.

Question 7: Do you think that the abundance of these forensic dramas is ruining actual prosecution’s cases because the level of technology in actual crime labs is no where near the fake level of technology shown in the shows? Do you think that juries are looking for more definitive evidence that is only available in TV shows?
Um, I think you're misunderstanding what I'm watching. Forensic Files, Dateline, 48 Hours, etc are all documentary shows - actual crimes, interviews with the victims, police, reporters etc... I don't think I've ever actually seen an episode of CSI.

I don't really have an educated opinion on the so-called CSI effect. I've never been on a jury and I don't have any evidence on whether or not it actually exists. Sounds plausible, I guess, but if a prosecutor isn't able to convince a jury that the defendant belongs behind bars, then he hasn't done his job properly, right? Reasonable doubt and all that. I do know that eyewitness testimony is horseshit and people give false confessions all the time... I think juries should be far more skeptical of that kind of evidence than they are.

Oh, man, how about that Cameron Todd Willingham case? I've seen his story on three or four of my shows and every time it gets my blood boiling. Really seems like Texas executed an innocent man. State-sanctioned murder, if you ask me.

No, I got that you were looking at the real deal, I was curious, since I imagined you have seen some of the procedural forensic dramas, if you thought that the fantasy versus the reality could be tainting a jury’s conclusion of “reasonable doubts.” I think the more documentarian shows that one finds on A&E, the Science Channel, Discovery, etc... show more realism than the dramas. I think it would be really interesting to see a drama that dealt with reality in a crime drama. That being said, I am not sure I would want to watch a lab tech titrate some chemical to get a precipitate to put into a mass spectrometer... Maybe the dramas have it right for the entertainment value.

There are too many death penalty cases where post execution, the person was exonerated by newer techniques and new details. It really is state-sanctioned murder. seriously states, you are better than that, don’t stoop to their level.

So, I was good in chemistry in high school, but I hated it as a subject. seriously, I was a badass at stoichiometry, but I hated the shit. Question 8: Any school topics, high school or college, that you were good at, but could not stand?
Hmm.... I'm fairly certain that while many people on death row have been freed, I don't think anyone who has actually been executed has been legally exonerated after the fact. Independent examinations point to a lot of innocent people being executed, but I don't think any courts have come out to put a legal stamp on approval on those investigations.

This might sounds douchey, but I was really good at school (Summa Cum Laude, motherfucker!) and didn't really like much of it. I guess I liked math all the way up through Algebra and Geometry, to the point where I wanted to be an engineer. But trigonometry and calculus beat it out of me. I was able to memorize all the right formulas etc, but I never really understood or enjoyed what I was doing, despite being good enough to get a 5 on the BC Calculus AP test (5 is the highest score on the APs, by the way). Perfect score on the math half of the SATs, too. I was seriously so good at algebra and geometry that the questions might as well have been 2+2.

Most of that knowledge is gone, tho. I'll do some basic algebra to figure out panel dimensions if I'm doing something tricky like wanting 4 panels in a row that get smaller and smaller at a uniform rate, but that's about it. I was trying to do some basic subtraction a year or two ago (like, 1,153 - 827 sort of thing) and totally forgot how to borrow and carry. Ha! Comics will rot your brains, kids!

I majored in mother fucking math, jackass, I got your math theory right here. I, however, only got a 4 on the AP Calc test, so bask in your AP glory, mister, but fear my ε - δ definition of limits knowledge. I still got set theory chops and I remember some of my Calc... I have, however forgotten all my LaPlace Transform info, and my advanced diffy-q knowledge I have forgotten more math.... I think it would take another 4 years of courses to get back to my mathematics fighting weight.

Question 9: One of my favorite questions coming up: I was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, moved to Montgomery, Alabama, then to Birmingham, Alabama, went to college in Kent, Ohio and settled in Columbus, Ohio.... What is your geographic story?
Haha! No sets for me, and I have no idea what those goofy squiggles mean. You win, Scotto!

I was born in Connecticut (no city for you, identity thieves!); lived in Avon CT until I was 7; moved to Sewickley (suburb of Pittsburgh), PA; went to college in Washington, DC; lived in Pittsburgh for one more year; moved to New Haven, CT for a year; and have been in Chicago, IL for the last 9 years.

Question 10: Which of those places resonates as your “home-town?”

I went back a few weeks ago for the first time in over two years. I really miss it. The roads are so much fun to drive on & our woods are so awesome. My brother and I found a few caches of vines that would have made for some awesome swinging if we had a solid afternoon to get them cut and the runways cleared. Next year!

Question 11: Since comic books are relatively geography-less and you can pretty much do your job anywhere there is computers, scanners, and the Internets, what is keeping you in the Windy City?
The people. I've got two great circles of friends here, based around The House Theatre of Chicago (the theater company I did design work and illustration for seven years), and the Chicago comic book community. Plus a bunch of other buddies I've picked up at random jobs, parties, etc. It'd be tough to leave all of them.

Friends will do that to you. It is nice to have a large local cadre of friends to draw on... or so I am told. I tend to find more community online than in real life. There are some people I have never met that I call friends. Which leads me to ask. Question 12: How has the blossoming of social media and social networks affected your interactions with people or your life in general?
Hmmm... well, I certainly waste more time on Twitter now that I'm on Twitter! It's cool to keep in casual touch with comics buddies who I normally only see two or three times a year, and those casual interactions pay off when we get to see each other in person at cons. And it's a nice ego boost when some pro I think is awesome starts following me before I start following them. I thought I was really hot shit when Ilya Salkind friended me on Facebook... until I realized that he's friends with almost everyone in the industry. Still, being fake friends with the producer of Superman is awesome!

I guess I'm developing a halfway decent fanbase. I'm closing in on 2,500 Twitter followers... (@theBurnham) hopefully that'll translate into increased sales of the new Officer Downe hardcover, but who knows? I certainly follow a bunch of people whose comics I don't regularly buy. Too much shit out there to read everything, but I like to know what people are working on, if only to avoid overly awkward conversation when I see them in person.

There's only thing worse than the despair in someone's eyes when you've never heard of their project is their despair when they've never heard of yours!

Seriously, if you can get your 2500 followers to send you $20, you could pocket $50k (before taxes or expenses). You should make that request of your followers and see if you can just live off them like that friend who is “just gonna stay on your couch for a few weeks until I can find a place.”

Question 13: Since this is Q13, do you have any superstitions? A certain way you have to have your materials laid out before you can start working on a page, you have to circle the bed three times before you can lay down to sleep (like some kind of family pet), NO WIRE HANGERS!!!!.. You know some kind of superstition? Anything?
Ha! I should do a 50/50 Twitter raffle! Winner takes half the pot, Burnham's Home for Wayward Comic Artists takes the other. Genius!

I'm sure I've some lingering superstition somewhere, but I really don't have much patience for that stuff. If it doesn't actually exist, why waste your time on it? (says the guy who makes his living drawing fictional characters. hmmmm...)

I guess I'll knock on wood, but I treat it more as a reminder to not take anything for granted. Plus I think it's funny to say "Knock on, err.. particle board" or whatever non-wood substance is at hand.

Yeah, when I stopped playing sports is when I lost my belief in the superstitions. The ritual of putting on the sporting vestments was VERY superstitious, but since then I can’t think of anything superstitious either.
Question 14: So, other than Walking the Room, are there any other podcasts that you listen to?
Oh, man... a bunch. Going down my iTunes list, the ones I'm actively listening to are...
The Economist
Jordan, Jesse GO!
Judge John Hodgman
My Brother, My Brother and Me
NPR: Planet Money
The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe
The Tobolowsky Files
This American Life
You Look Nice Today

and the occasional comic podcast when the interviewee sounds interesting... War Rocket Ajax, Word Balloon, iFanboy, Around Comics.

I listen to, or have listened to many of these, so looking at it that is about maybe 20 hours of padcasts a week, correct? If you like Walking the Room, might I suggest subscribing to Never Not Funny with Jimmy Pardo. It is not as sad and pathetic and a bit more whimsical.

One of my mantras in life is “Funny over nice.” Often if there is a nugget of funny in a situation, I will try to mine the funny prior to showing any significant compassion. Question 15: Do you have any personal mantras?
I used to listen to Never Not Funny. If memory serves, I thought the free content was annoyingly shilly and rather than upgrading to the $ version I stopped listening altogether. I do think those guys are funny, but the show always shut off just as it was getting good, and it started to feel like thy were purposefully doing a shitty job at the beginning to make me pay for the good stuff.

Personal mantras...

"The hard part is over. Here comes the hard part." At the moment I'm doing it, I feel like each and every stage (of the creative process, or learning, or growing up, or whatever) is the most difficult thing in the world and am looking forward to the next stage, which I'm sure will be a cakewalk by comparison. It never is.

And some storytelling ones I learned from my film professor, Dr. Thiel.

"Get inside the action." "Realize is not a verb." "If I didn't see the handkerchief, there's no handkerchief."

I have always loved Pardo. I dig his stand-up and have for a while, and his payment scheme is not too bad for me, but I couldn’t afford all the podcasts I listen to if they all had that model. I think the 20 minute free version of NNF was always a commercial for the full version.

I adopted my wife’s family mantra, “Don’t let the fuckers get you down.” And until recently, I have been letting the fuckers get me down, but I am working on that.

We are closing in on the end of the interview, so thanks for sticking with me so far (interviewee and reader) Question 16: Who is the coolest person you have met? Not necessarily the most well-known, just the coolest, and I hope it is not someone well-known.. That makes for better radio.
Ummm... Natasha Henstridge's husband Darius was pretty cool. I assumed he was a 40-ish European billionaire prince or something, but it turns out he's just a 30-something millionaire pop star... Kinda disappointing in retrospect.

Honestly, the coolest person I can recall meeting was this 10-year old kid at a comic convention a year or two ago. This kid was just so self-assured, casually inquisitive and well-adjusted... seriously the most socially capable human being I've ever met and he was only 10. That dude is going to be the president of the universe.

Question 17: Any questions that I should have asked you?
Q: What's the awesomest shit ever?

A: Getter Robo. Nearly all of it is available as free scanlations at

Shit is super fun. Brilliantly mindless entertainment. Most of the anime versions are pretty cool, but the manga is tippity top.

And you provided a link. You are the awesomest!

Question 18: Any questions that you want to ask me?
You've been a Ten Tonner for quite awhile... how'd you get involved? Confession: for some reason I used to think you were Jason Baroody's girlfriend!

Okay, the confession was completely unnecessary, because deep down aren’t we all Jason Baroody’s girlfriends?

Maybe 5 years ago I started remembering how much I loved to draw. I was in a dead end job that was not taxing me creatively and I started to frequent the comic books section of The Drawing Board. I started drawing again over there in little baby steps. I was a lurker for a while because I hadn’t picked up a pencil for drawing a good long while. In college I was only a few courses away from a studio art minor with a focus on pen and ink. And then I stopped drawing for 10+ years and lost most of my ability. After lurking I started contributing there. Over there I was only mmmpig.

That forum is a great forum, but it was a little bit too sunny for me. Very little solid criticism and more of a “you can do it, keep trying, way to go” vibe. I was always impressed with the work Baroody was posting there and most of what he was posting there was associated with some kind of Sketch Challenge thingy. 4 yrs ago I followed him back here and devoured the art all of you were throwing up, and as I read the threads I realized that this was a much better community for me. Crits at TT are solid and never unprofessional. The banter is way more vulgar and snarky and a bunch less cream-puff and sunshiney. So I stayed and slowly I have been trying to recover the drawing skills that I let get too rusty.

So my goal now is to win a Ten Ton Sketch Challenge

Question 19: How can people see your work in person and online?
Is this a subtle dig at me for never updating my website or posting art? ;)

I've got a slightly out of date portfolio at chrisburnham.com and I'm fairly active on Twitter where my handle is @TheBurnham. I'm on Facebook but don't really do anything on it other than look at pictures of my niece and nephew. And of course I'm on Ten Ton.

Convention season is over for the year, so other than bumping into me at Dark Tower Comics or Challengers Comics & Conversation (both here in sunny Chicago), I think the next chance for people to see me in person will be the Emerald City show in March and C2E2 in April.

In the meantime, the Officer Downe: Bigger Better Bastard Edition comes out on December 7th (pre-order yours today, kids!), and what was originally going to be Batman Inc #10 comes out, um, eventually! Hang in there, kitty cat, it's gonna be great!

I want to thank you profusely for taking so much time with me. Especially since this interview will be seen by at most 31 people. I got juice... I got juice. Since this is the last question, let's make it retrospective. Question 20: Did you come away with anything particularly interesting from this set of 20 questions? Learn anything about yourself through answering the questions? and/or did you at least enjoy this long drawn out process?
It's always fun to answer questions I haven't been asked before. Thanks!

Holy Shit! Amaziballs! This was an amazingly fun. Thanks so damn much, Chris!

To recap:
Wifey is out of town until Sunday evening
Sweet Jeebus and all that is Holly! That is a long time away from now!
This weekend is Mid-Ohio Comic Con!
I will be at table 1024 with the amazing Brett Wood
Sitting next to William Grapes and Matt Horak
There will be drawings
Spaghetti for dinner?
The kids will like it
Me? not so much... I am kind of tired of the spaghetti
Not sure that I will partake of the pasta meal
So, who likes the tumblr?
That’s who
Have a great weekend everyone

20 Questions Tuesday: 170 - Crap Holidays

Columbus Day is still a US federal holiday?  Really?  Whatever

So, yesterday, during my day off from Job 1, I went into Job 2 for a good consistent amount of time.  It was really nice.  I tend to like Job 2, why can’t it be Job 1?  Everyone, keep your fingers crossed that 2 becomes 1 and the first 1 goes away... Did I mention that I am working 2 jobs right now?  Anyway the day off made me think about all the holidays out there that are really Crap Holidays... Ergo today’s topic.

Thanks this week go to: Nadolny, Dr JHP, Lsig, and Allrileyedup.  Onto the Questions!

1. I understand why some Native Americans are pissed about Columbus Day, but do you know anyone who actually celebrates Columbus Day (other than when some government workers go "woohoo" no work today, I almost forgot and went in.)?
I don’t know of any celebrations out there.  There were many jokes about celebrating by going to someone else’s house and claiming it as your own until the previous tenants die from a disease your brought.

2. Seriously, anyone?
No one, not even Columbus’s descendants.

3. What holidays would you remove from the Federal Holiday list?
I would modify the holiday’s just a bit.  I would drop both Washington’s Birthday and Columbus Day.  Even though I am not super keen on overly memorializing 9-11 too much, it should be a federal holiday.  I also feel that election day should be a federal holiday as well.   So it is an even trade.  

4. What's you favorite holiday?

5. Do you like any holidays that most people (Americans) don't even think about?
Canadian Thanksgiving... (which just happened, Happy Thanksgiving, you bunch of crazy Canuks!)

6.  Please explain the lack of interest in Festivus?
It is a made up holiday that was associated with a sit-com that went off the air 13 years ago...

7.  Groundhog Day. Other than a good movie what is the point?
It is a silly superstition day, that has been somewhat codified.  I would love to see more of these types of games.  Like Newt Day, where if a newt goes back to the water, your kid isn’t ready for life on their own yet.

8.  Bank Holidays...why do they get to set the agenda?
Theys gots tha benjamins, dawg!

9.  Bacon Day anyone??
Why yes, thank you.

10.  Please explain...(insert obscure holiday here) to me.
Well, (insert obscure holiday here) is a vestigial holiday left over from when the US was an agrarian society.  Typically on or around the date of (insert obscure holiday here) is when farmers needed to (do something labor intensive) for the (particular crop).

11.  What was the first holiday you and Wifey celebrated together?
That WE actually celebrated?  I think it was Cinco de Mayo.

12.  Most memorable Mardi Gras? (Trick question, obviously)
I believe it was before the Flats in Cleveland completely imploded.

13.  What do you think St. Patrick would make of the way American college kids celebrate the day he died?
Well, since college students don’t typically crucify druids, I think St Patrick would be appalled.

14. What percentage of people do you think are actually thankful on Thanksgiving? 
1%   (HA!  see what I did there? #OWS baby!)

15.  "Sweetest Day"?  Really?
I hate the mere idea of “Sweetest Day.”

16.  What is your least favorite crap holiday?
Hmmm... The aforementioned “Sweetest Day.”  It is a day that is completely manufactured by a cynical gift industry.

17.  Most favorite crap holiday?
Belly Laugh Day... Look it up!

18.  Does any part of you feel sorry for the fact that Columbus died a poor, destitute man?
Yes, I think it is terrible when anyone dies poor and destitute.

19.  Don't you live in Columbus? Any big celebrations?
Gigantic celebrations.  Last night we had the traditional Sherried Chicken in Ziti with Brocolli, and then a trip to Dairy Queen so the kids could have about 1/4th of a pumpkin pie Blizzard.

20.  Have you ever given someone a crap holiday card? If so, please provide details.
Yes, for their birthday.  I gave someone an Arbor Day card once for their December birthday, I scratched out "Arbor Day" and wrote in "Birthday."   ‘cause, that’s how I roll!

To recap:
I need more sleep
Who doesn’t?
I have 3 interviews going on simultaneously
I am at 15, 12, and 10
I imagine that some of you may know who some of these people are
Most of you will not
That is why I do the interviews
I am much less a blogger and more a correspondent
Seriously, if you want to be a part of the questioning, leave me a comment
US v Ecuador tonight and the USMNT lost 0 -1
There were stretches where they looked pretty okay
How is that for some comments on the game?
“Pretty okay”
That is “pretty ambivalent”
Watching “Top Shot” right now on History Channel
Jake is a dick
Have a great weekend

20 Questions Tuesday: 169 - News

So, last night, in my genius I decided to go for some walking exercise... “Walking?” you ask. well, yes, walking. I have my grandmother’s feet and she has been dead for years. So, instead of running I briskly walk. Last night it was about 6.5 miles in about 1.5 hours... I was hauling it. The issue with the walk is that I don’t like the walking in the night-time, mainly because the bike trail that I walk on is not really that well lit, and I am scared of the muggers and big-guy-rapers out there.

Anyway... I sent out the call for questions this week and got a resounding response on the topic “News.” Thanks this week go to Lord Pithy, Capt McArmypants, Brav, and Nadolny. Let’s get to it!

1. Do you see the Kindle Fire as a final product, or preamble to something called the Kindle Inferno?
I do not see it as a final product, but I also do not see the Kindle Inferno being their named product... It will probably by the Kindle Fie-Yah!

2. Should people have to apply for a license before buying a model plane?
ummm... no? Not sure I know why one would need liscensure to construct a scaled down in-operable version of a plane.

3. How was your world affected by the Netflix/Qwikster announcement?
My world wasn’t really affected by it, mainly because I am not a subscriber to the services. However, I do listen to a long list of tech podcasts, so I had to hear a shit-ton of moaning and bitching on those podcasts... and that was annoying.

4. I hear Dr. Murray may be taking on new patients soon. Who would you send to him?
hmmm... who would I mark for death? Who would I like to get hooked on prescription narcotics and then die? I honestly can’t say that I could wish that on anyone.... (Cast of Jersey Shore)

5. What odds do you give the Simmons/Tweed marriage?
Well, we don’t know the operating conditions of the marriage. If the terms of the marriage are similar to the terms of their previous relationship, I give it good odds. Mainly because I think the marriage is done only as a property rights and visitation contract.

6. As you get older do you find you watch the news more and/or believe it less or the vicey-verser?
I watched the evening news everyday as a kid. Local and national... every night. I don’t really watch news anymore. Sometimes I try to watch the BBC... not often though.

7. Ticker tape thingy at the bottom of most News channels. Best thing ever or worst thing ever?
One of the worst... such good potential that just hasn’t panned out. Things I would love to see scrolling along the bottom of the screen: news headlines, sports scores, ingredient lists, nursery rhymes, recipes, school class attendance rosters, the periodic table of the elements, etc...

8. Have you ever had a personal involvement with a "newsworthy" story where what was reported, be it through simplification or embellishment or straight up they have no effin clue what happened, was nothing even close to the facts? If so please share..... and feel free to embellish and over simplify.
Nope, but I have been on the news for the nasal flu vaccine. I am a star.

I was watching FoxNews in the airport last year and it looked like the Miss USA pageant (By the way, mad props to the NILF skit from the Daily Show). Disturbingly, all around the nation the reporters/anchors just keep getting better and better looking. The only known exception is the local ABC affiliate in your own home town.

9. Do you disapprove of this trend?
Make’em whiter and blonder or I don’t want to see your news. Get all of those missing drunk college chicks in the Caribbean that matter (the white ones with blond hair from the USA, not the darker ones who go missing who live on the islands) and make them your news casters.

10. If so, does this in fact make Pam Huff a thing of beauty?
No... No it doesn’t. Is she still on the air?

11. Do you think your personal karma has had an effect on the flooding throughout Asia?
Well, since I have never been to Asia or Australia, I cannot think that MY karma is the one affecting the flooding in Asia... I would suggest that someone living in Thailand who once was part of the USMC might be more of a karmic black hole, causing the suffering and desolation of others in Asia.

12. Who is your favorite sports team (if any) and why?
I would have to say the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer, because it a local team and a soccer team... Two things that tend to make me a fan... My surrogate soccer teams that I am trying to follow are Fulham FC in the English Premier League and the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer as well (because of a friend’s fanship of them)... (if Halifax had a team, I would follow them as well)

13. If you could change WHAT they report on in the news, what subjects should get more focus and/or what should get LESS focus…?
I think the news needs to be a bit more balanced as far as positive and negative news. That being said, I understand that positive “news” stories do not compare in magnitude to the bad news stories. I understand that an earthquake in Japan causing a nuclear meltdown is orders of magnitude larger than volunteer tutors helping kids having issues with math. I just think they need to sprinkle in some positives with the negative. Maybe in between the “household chemicals in you closet that will kill you” story and the latest natural disaster information they could throw in a story about how a random stranger paid for someone’s groceries.

14. Do you watch news on TV, or get it through an Internet website, or elsewhere?
Pretty much Internet sources only. That being the case, all over the place on the Internets, but I find that the Twitter is a pretty credible place when you meticulously curate who you follow.

15. Do you like to see a preview for a movie before you see the movie?
I live for previews. Love them LOVE. THEM. It is true though, that the trailer either has nothing to do with the overall movie, or completely ruins it... but I love them anyway.

16. There is a new 3 Musketeers movie out, are you a fan of the originals? The ones I’ve viewed are: the one where Gene Kelly was Dartanian, the 3 and 4 Musketeers (2 movies made in the 70’s), the cartoon from the Banana Splits show in the 60’s, and the Charlie ‘Tiger’sBlood’ Sheen version?
I am a fan of the 70’s movies. Those are great. The 90’s version was horrid.

17. How about them Wall Street protesters?
I am glad that this protest is going on... it should be getting better coverage than it is in the US. To find good information on it you have to look to the CBC, BBC, and Al Jazeera English, and that is pitiful.

18. Do vertical versus horizontal stripes really make people look fat or thin, or does being fat or thin make them look that way?
It really depends on the width of the stripes and spacing of the stripes. Thin stripes with medium spaces have a “contouring” effect and whether vertical or horizontal tend to make fat people look fat. Very wide stripes (vertical or horizontal) can slim to an extent. That being said, thin looks thin.

19. Do you find the goatee hot in the summer months?
Not especially, even though a full beard is warmer in the wintertime. Odd that.

20. Do you think goats are hot in the summer months?
Yes, and I believe they are cold in the winter... specifically in places that are cold... Goats do not get cold in the winter in areas where it does not get cold in the winter, needless to say.

To recap:
Sent off an invoice to Job #2 yesterday
Pretty sure almost all of it will go to Uncle VISA
I have a Boba Fett hoody
It is pretty great except for the jet-pack art on the back
It would have had a more striking design without the jet-pack
If anyone wants to get into the questioning, let me know in the comments section
You are only an email away from asking me questions regularly
My kids ate all my yogurt
Now, I only have granola bars and sadness for breakfast
I have a battery of eye tests on Thursday
Not looking forward to he headache that will induce
I was diagnosed with Convergence Insufficiency
Basically, I cannot focus my eyes too well close in
You know at a useful distance for reading and such
But, I can do those Magic Eye posters like a Mo-Fo
So, while my head hurts after reading
And I lose visual focus fairly often at red lights and watching the TV
I can resolve 3-D images embedded in visually and aesthetically annoying posters that were made in the early 1990’s at the drop of a hat
Who is kicking ass now?
Jealous much?
Have a great weekend everyone

20 Questions Tuesday: 168 - Waking Up

This is the second week of the revitalized bloggarooney.  Wifey’s job has her in New York City this week, with a stunning bit of work surrounding the idea of altering the conversation of social justice... I, however, am watching progress meter slowly creep across the screen letting me know about the database I am helping to create of all the transportation infrastructure geology bore-hole locations... One of us changing the world...One of us is not changing the world... I think I would be good at changing the world

Anyway, with the revitalization of the blog, the topic this week is “Waking Up,” because in many ways that is what I am looking to do.  Too long have I been the dormant giant softly slumbering... or loudly snoring the sweet slumber song of a sleep-apneiac sasquatch (more likely)

Anywho... Thanks this week go to Lsig, Brett Wood, Bomber, and Some Other Guy... On to the questions:

1.  When do you typically wake up on weekdays?
I typically get up anywhere between 5:30 and 6 am... way too early, if you ask me.  

2.  Any appreciable difference on weekends?
I can sleep til about 7:30 before kids wake me up.  Sometimes, Wifey will allow me to sleep into 9... oh, glorious 9

3.  Do your kids wake up happy or grumpy?
If we have to wake up the little urchins, they tend to be rather grumpy.  However, if we let them wake up on there own, they are happy and joyous like unicorns riding rainbows.

4.  To what problem or issues does the US population most need to wake up?
Moderation in all... even moderation.  Can you actually have moderation in ALL things?  I am sure someone has asked that before.

5.  Please describe the general waking up of your last undergrad roommate.
well, Ksig was my final college room mate and I have never met anyone who was more angry at the world for having his sleep ruined.  Seriously, he was angry... like a short faced bear (Google it your damn selves or watch some Ice Age mega fauna documentaries you uneducated boobs).

6.  What goes through your mind when you wake up?
The first and most consistent thought I have is “Already?!?”

7.  When will people finally wake up?
I bet this is what 2012 is about, not the end of days, but our collective human waking up.

8.  If you woke up and didn't know who you were what would you do?
Well, since I am living in the future, I would look at my location on my smart phone.  If I did not have any signal, I would take an inventory of what was around me and start trying to figure it out.

9.  If you could wake up as anyone throughout history who would it be and why?
I think I would love to have awakened as one of the astronauts that got to the Moon.  It think it would have been incredible to wake up and see the Earth

10.  What happens when people never wake up?
They are in a coma.

11. Caffeine of choice?
Still to this day the wonderful elixir, my Green Mistress, Mountain Dew

12.  Breakfast or no?
I tend to have a very light breakfast.  Yogurt and a granola bar.

13.  Time that elapses between crawling out of bed and crawling into cubicle?
30 to 45 minutes... pending on how many times I reset the alarm.

14.  Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme or Tim Horton’s?
Really?  That isn’t even a question.  Krispy Kreme... oh Krispy Kreme... you are an evil place filled with wondrous temptations.  I am sure my Canadian friends are confused by my non Tim Horton's answer.

15.  First thing you do when you face your computer at work?  
Well, after quietly weeping at all the failure of my life, I log into my PC and then eat my yogurt and weep some more.  Silent tears of someone who has given up on his dreams and decided that small failures are in some ways a form of success.  Then it is time for the granola bar.

16.  Which is worse... sleepy crud in the eye or stuffed up nose?
I prefer the crud in the eye... even if it has sealed my eye closed.  Typically once you have cleared your eyes, it is over.  The stuffed up nose thing stays with you until meds kick in.

17.  Best breakfast?
Okay, I know I shit on my family on a regular schedule, but seriously.  I love when my mom would make French toast for me before school.  Seriously, It started out the day just right.  Is that the best breakfast I have ever had, prolly no, but it is the one for which I am most nostalgic.

18.  So, the breakfast meats: bacon, Canadian bacon, ham, sausage links, and sausage patties, brought to you here in alphabetical order.  Please place them in taste order.
In many ways it depends on the sausage (link & patty), but in general.... sausage links, bacon, Canadian bacon, sausage patties, and then ham... this is, of course, assuming you mean consuming the breakfast meat on the side, not as part of a greater breakfast concoction such as a omelet or some kind of breakfast casserole.  If that is the question the answers get all crazy jumbled up.

19.  Do you get everything ready before going to bed, so all you have to do when you wake up is get ready and go, or do you run around like a crazy person after waking up just trying to get ready in time to get to work promptly?
I want to be the “get everything ready the night before” guy, but I tend to be the “run around like a crazy person” type of guy.

20.  The alarm you use... radio, some kind of militaristic klaxon, or something else?
I used to use the “harp” default setting on the iPhone, but I have had to go to the “xylophone” which is just a bit louder than the harp.

To recap:
Wifey gets back in town on Thursday
It is only Tuesday
Tonight's menu: Pork Loin, Green Beans, and Cous Cous
I should have taken a picture
I have recently reduced the number of podcasts that I listen to
I found it was hard to keep up with the 45 hrs a week I was doing
I mentioned the boring job, yes?
I have some on-going interviews at the moment with some people you may have heard of
You may not have heard of them, but you should have
If anyone wants to get me a gift, might I suggest Copic Markers?
Love those damn things
Anyone doing anything fun?
Me, not so much
Have a great week and weekend everyone

20 Questions Tuesday: 167 - "Where have you been?"

Well... Hello there.  It has been a good long time since I posted last, because there were some things going on that I didn’t feel comfortable blogging about, and they were consuming all of my energy.  Guess what... those things have removed themselves somewhat, and now I have some more energy and some renewed interest in using this venue as a creative outlet.

So, I apologize for the hiatus, and I will bore you no longer with details of such.  Instead, thanks this week go to Military Modeller, Nadolny, Lsig, Capt. McArmypants esq, and Dr B-Dawg.

On to the questions!  for some reason, Blogger is not so happy with the bold today... formatting issues are the bane of my existence.
1.  It was talk like a pirate day yesterday - where were you when you learned this?
I was looking on the Internet like I do every day.... wait, I know what you want to hear.  Yar, I be lookin tru de Int-arrrrr-nets, for me normal tales to grok... grok!?!  It’s Talk like a Robert Heinlein Pirate Day!

2.  Have you made it to a Crew game since the last 20 Questions'?
Yep, I got to see them unzip the Colorado rapids a few months ago.  June 26, Columbus 4 to Colorado 1.  I got to watch the game with some good friends that I am really just now getting to know... Canadians, the lot of them, well... one is a Limey Canuk

3.  Job, what's the sitch?
I currently have a state job in Ohio, of which many people focused on for many a week early this summer due to the Union busting tendency of the current gubernatorial adminsitration.  I the end, this means that the typical safety of having a “state job” has eroded beyond belief.  Things are in flux here and I am again worried about keeping another job.  Yea! Recession!

4.  How's daddyhood to a little girl treating you different than that to Little Man?
It is great, I have not noticed much difference just yet between how I have to parent the two kids.  Q likes LEGOs and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Captain Rex is dreamy!)about as much as Little Man.

5.  Any vacations in your absence?
Not anything amazing, there was a good bit of unemployment going on during the absence. It is difficult to pay for a vacation whilst unemployed.  That being said, I am sure someone, somewhere did go on vacation, so I can give a solid "yes" to that question... We did get to visit Lsig and Ksig for a nice long weekend, which was wonderful.

6.  Leads on selling the house?  Buying a new one?  We want you good folks here in Colonial Hills to class up the place a bit and raise home values.  Ok, Dr Clean and I just want another gamer in the neighborhood to play board games :)
Nope, nothing going on housewise.  The house is on the market, mind you, but this market is a shit market for sellers.  So we have not really looked super seriously at someplace new because we have not had any interest in our house.  Once we get some interest in the house, we will need to decide whether to move out of our larger neighborhood into your neighborhood.

7.  Why only 20 questions, I mean, you've been gone a long time, don't you think we are more curious than that?
I have soooome time, not tons of time.  It still takes time to do this.   

8.  Are you “A Potted Plant” on Facebook?
In a word, yes.  I am one of the many “A Potted Plant”s on the Facebook.  I am the funniest one though.

9.  What is the longest flight you've ever been on?
From Munich to Newark way back in summer 1992.  I sat next to an absolute disaster of a human.  He was filthy and mumbled like he had recently had a labotomy.... (I’m looking at you Capt. McArmypants....) Truth be told, I was pretty disheveled myself.  I just was annunciating properly.

10.  What was your best-ever vacation?
hmmm.... Best ever, would be the Rocky Mountains trip we made in 2004-ish.  Wifey knows the actual date, but me no think good like that.

11.  Which fictional world would you most like to visit?
Rakhat from the book “The Sparrow”, but I would want to go there with a small squad of soldiers and explorers instead of a few Jesuits

12.  Is there a place you went as a kid that you'd like to take your children?
Walt Disney World.  I think the kids would dig it something fierce.

13.  What is the biggest change in your life since the blog went kaput?
Hmmm... I have been humbled in many ways... that and I have started trying to take care myself more.  I got up to a whopping 250 lbs, and have been fighting my way back down.  I have lost 17 lbs in the last 5 months.  I would like to get back down to somewhere around 200 - 210 lbs-ish.  

14.  Does nobody know the troubles you seen?
Nobody knows the trouble I seen, nobody knows, but Wifey....

15.  How many countries have you visited and which was your favorite?
I have only been to England, Scotland, and Germany in the Europe, and Canada and the US in North America.  As far as the favorite, it would be a tie between England and Canada for different reasons.  England for the massive historicness  and Canada (mainly NS) because it feels almost like it could be a second home.

16.  Why are you there?
Why aren’t you?

17.  There are rumors that your blog was placed on hiatus due to photos of you and Charlie Sheen together. Care to comment?
No Comment... next question! Nope, there is no truth to that.  the most famous person I have ever met was the comedian, Sinbad back in 1988 (He was wearing a pair of black and white tiger striped Zubaz workout pants and an ill-fitting t-shirt {don’t know whjat “Zubaz” is, you damn kids? Google it your damn self and get off my lawn!})

18.  Will you be rebooting your blog with a new #1, including a new costume and origin story?
Nope this is coming in at 167... I don’t want to get rid of all that continuity just to get a few new readers.

19.  Were you building a safehouse for the upcoming Mayan prediction of the world ending in 2012, and if so, is this blog merely taunting us with your level of preparedness?
The Mayans did not predict an end of the world.  The Mayans simply didn’t chisel more of the calendar after getting to the equivalent of 2012 in our current calendar system.  It isn't like they wrote "boom" or something after 2012.  Our concept of time is erroneous and completely manufactured.  Time is not a series of little quantized discrete units it is one continuous field that loops back in and out of itself.      

20.  What advice would you give the 4/13/2010 version of you?
This too shall pass.

Bonus Question:  Let's look forward, where are you going? (philosophy 101 style)
Things are only going to get better.  I am on the way up, baby!

To recap:
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
Better stuff is to come!
I actually have some interviews in the works  with some crazy ass people
Oh, the blog is going from PG-13 to R, BTW
Every once in a while I love to drop an F-Bomb
OK, most of the time
Many many things are different, as long as you define different as “about the same”
Still watching progress bars slowly travel across the screen
Podcasts get me through the day
Got to suck it up to work, yo!
Check it!
love me the Twitters
Look me up @mmmmmpig

20 Questions Tuesday: 166 - Movie Remakes or Desserts

After last week’s 20 Questions Tuesday about spring break I received and email from Capt McArmypants. The conversation went thusly:
Capt McArmypants at 10:15 AM (22 hours ago)
to me
I have to admit. It was awfully hard to come up with 5 questions about Spring Break. I wish I had thought up Wifey's "will you watch it" angle. Perhaps it is time to start running your topics through

Mmmmmpig at 10:20 AM (22 hours ago)
to Capt McArmypants
it was difficult indeed... her question about the Christians co-opting spring break was brilliant though

so what should next week's be?

Capt McArmypants at 11:16 AM (21 hours ago)
to me
movie remakes or desserts

Mmmmmpig at 11:44 AM (21 hours ago)
to Capt McArmypants
that is what it shall be then
So..... This week's 20 Questions Tuesday will be on the topic of Movie Remakes or Dessert. Thanks this week go to Nadolny, Dr John P, Atmikha, Belsum, and Some Other Guy. On to the Questions:

1. Opinion of the movie desert remake "Flight of the Pheonix" (couldn't think of a movie remake with desserts, so that's as close as I could get).
I think the commercial power of that film gives an accurate representation of my opinion. I didn't see it and will default to the 6 or 10 that imbd has given it with the review starting out with "instantly forgettable."

2. Not a remake, but word on the street (that would be the internet tube laden streets) is that the Indiana Jones franchise will be making another one with Harrison Ford. I'm on the fence with this one. On on hand, I think Sean Connery could have done Bond for another 15 years without a problem and Ford might be in that same category, but then again, he looked pretty damn old in the last one to be doing heroic action, thoughts?
I think the whole franchise should be re-booted and Harrison Ford should play the part of Belloq.

3. Which tv series remakes strike your fancy? that is if you have a fancy, wait, pretend I didn't say fancy.
A-Team.... I cannot wait for this train wreck of a movie. When they have someone who is not an actor acting like someone else who is not an actor.... it is meta-not-acting.

4. Just saw the Clash of the Titans remake. Special effects were awesome but the original's stop motion animation just made it more likable for me, agree or disagree?
I agree, because there is a wonderful ability to not take itself seriously. There was a incrongruity between the level of integration for the FX and the crap story.

5. If they ever do a remake of Flash Gordon they sure as hell better make the sequel. I am still waiting to find out what happend to that ring. Does this cause you to lose sleep at night as well?
I have lost no sleep over Flash Gordon and unresolved plots concerning rings.

6. Any remakes you think were better than the originals?
Most the remakes I can think of suck... except the Star Trek reboot.

7. If you could direct/produce a remake what would it be and whom would it star?
MacGyver, and the main role would go to Ben Browder (you look him up) and the main bad-guy would be Richard Dean Anderson.

8. Best dessert you have ever had? Not just the type but the exact dish and place that would not be able to be replicated.
The best dessert I have had is very replicable. I would have to choose from 2 different things to get the truly best.

Dessert the first is the homemade variety: The Dreaded Pudding Desert. It is a 4 layer pan desert that could very well kill you. Walnut crust, Chocolate pudding, cream cheese, and whipped cream.

Dessert the second is the Cheesecake Factory's Vanilla Bean Cheesecake.... mmmmmmm cheesecake

9. Do sequels count as remakes?
Not quite, unless they re-tell the previous story within the sequel story.

10. Name 3 "re-makes" that were an improvement on the original film.
Hmmm.... Oceans Eleven, The second Ten Commandments by DeMille, and A Walk in the Clouds because I can lord it over my wife.

11. What is it about Mt Dew that makes it stand out from all the other "white" sodas?
It is the fruity caffeine.

12. Which Willy Wonka?
I like both of them for different reasons. One is a kids' movie and the other has a more believable Wonka.

13. If you had to choose between eating bread pudding every day for a year, or watch another remake of Superman, which would it be?
Superman remake hands down. Only 2 to 3 hours required and that way I would not tire of bread pudding.

14. I actually really like the Lindsey Lohan Parent Trap. It’s on cable all the time though. I suspect that’s part of it. Hayley Mills rules. Did you know her son Crispian was in Kula Shaker? Did you ever see any of the Parent Trap TV movie sequels from the 80s?
No, I did not know anything about Crispian or watch any of the Parent Trap TV movie sequels.

15. I saw a preview of the Last Airbender this weekend. It looks totally cool. I haven’t ever seen the cartoon though. So does it count as a remake? Or is it an adaption? Or a “re-imaging”? Do those things actually mean something different or have we just become accustomed to BS studio jargon?
I think it is considered a "live action" version and outside of cannon.

16. I get a sore throat if I eat too much fudge. Why is that?
Might be a mild cocoa allergy, but most likely it is due to eating fudge like a duck. Chew then swallow, the fudge ain't going anywhere.

17. Do you believe in the parental “Fruit totally counts as dessert. No really, I swear. I’m not making this up” line we all got growing up? Have you tried to perpetrate it yourself?
I have never believed that and I don't necessarily foist that upon the kids.

18. Choose between your favorite desert and your favorite movie?
Well, since a desert is a arid region without a certain level of precipitation I will choose my favorite movie. By the way, my favorite desert is the Gobi.

19. Pudding or Star Wars?
Vanilla or Butterscotch? And what episode: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6?

20. So has Hollywood lost all of it's creativity? Everything is a remake these days
I know, how hard is it to create a new dessert? Sweet Jebus! Let's look at some new dessert combos! Peanut butter and chocolate has been done!

To recap:
Really late post tonight
Super late in fact
Good lord, it is almost midnight
Which means it is almost Wednesday
Hit the "Publish Post" button already!
Why are you taking to the wire, Mmmmmpig?
Listening to the Primo Pardcast of Never Not Funny
Jimmy Pardo is a funny guy
Seriously funny

20 Questions Tuesday: 165 - Spring Break Baby! WOOOOOO

This week, Little Man is on his spring break. That, of course, means that we have shipped him down to Panama City to get drunk with the college students and dance on tables.

Anyhoo... since it is his spring break, I figured that would be a fun topic for today's 20 Questions Tuesday. Alas and alack I was horribly incorrect. I have only gotten 16 questions from my intrepid questioneers and therefore I have had to create 4 questions for myself regarding the concept of Spring Break. Thanks do go to Dr John P, Capt McArmypants esq, and Wifey for sending in some questions.

On to the questions:
1. What is the wildest place you have ever been for Spring Break?
Hmmm.... I was not much of a Spring Breaker. It was an opportunity to go home and visit the family more than a moment for quiet reflection and drunken debauchery. Since I went to school 12 hours away from home, Spring Break was a trip home more than anything else. And as a kid, my parents always used spring break as a time to visit their families. So many of my spring breaks as a kid were either in Akron, Ohio or in Retirementville, Florida, and when I was in college my spring breaks were in exotic Center Point, Alabama. I led a wild and crazy life.

2. Would college kids find Spring Break as much fun without alcohol?
Nope. Although I think a placebo effect could be easily manufactured by giving college kids a beverage and telling them it was alcoholic. I think that the college kids use the alcohol as a bit of a crutch. It is a excuse to be uninhibited.

3. I want to take a Spring Break next year what do you recommend?
Banff or Glacier National Park in the Cananada.

4. Please list the probabilty of me actually taking that Spring Break...

5. Is there a Fall Break or is that just Thanksgiving?
There really isn't a fall break because of the length of the school year. The closest equivalent would be Thanksgiving Break. Honestly, I don't understand why that isn't just a week off anyway. I don't ever remember anything interesting or useful happening in that 3-day school week.

6. Break from what really?
For Little Man? A break from all that annoying work stations. He has to keep a rolling schedule of 12 work stations going. This week, one work station, salt mining.

7. .....er springs break? Don't they usually just loose their tensile strength until stop being "springy" I imagine it would be more of a spring snap anyway?
Kind of like a "spring failure" instead of break... hmmm... how many people go on spring break and are failures.... I think "failure" and "break" could be lumped together fairly often.

8. When you were a kid didn't they call it AEA Week?
Only in Alabama and only until about '85. It was called AEA because it was the Alabama Education Association conference of teachers. Teacher's were supposed to meet at the time and do teacherly stuff, but no one did, so eventually they just astarted calling it Spring Break like everyone else in the US.

9. I skipped about 15 years of MTV Spring Break coverage. When I left off watching, "the pool" was full of hot hotties and ripped dudes. A brief scanning of last year's MTV Spring Break coverage indicates that the entire college age population has gotten tubby to the point that I would be unable to figure out which one of these kids regularly got picked last in PE. What up with that?
It is all the texting. OMG Their thumbs are amazing though.

10. Every year some damn fool idiot manages to fall off his balcony. Shouldn't we be putting breathalyzers on the sliding glass doors by now?
Culling the heard... culling the heard.

11. Why don't adults get a spring break?
Adult teachers do, that is part of the reason their profession is not respected a ton. The other reason they are not respected is the fact that everyone has had a crap teacher that they hated, and that taints their whole view of teachers whether they know it or not.

As for other jobs... businesses can't shut down for a whole week especially if they are service related.

12. Where would you like to go for Spring Break?
I would love to visit me some mountains. I would rather go hiking than walking on the beach any day.

13. Spring Break - yet another pagan holiday taken over by the Christians. Why do they do that? And how come the school systems don't recognize the same Christian calendar? I'm flummoxed.
Listen, the assimilation of pagan cultures was a Papal mandate from the early Catholic church. This was best shown through the Emperor Constantine and his appropriation of the Roman Centurion week of rest known as Florum Septimanae. There is no reason to put Christ in the Florum Septimanae.

14. What is the family doing for spring break this year?
Well, the family is hanging out and I am going to work. Next year, when I have vacation accrued, maybe we will do something fun.

15. How does this differ from other weeks of the spring?
Well... Little Man doesn't have to spend anytime getting ready to go to school in the morning right now. Come Monday....

16. I was on the oval today at OSU. It was as wild - as many bikinis - as Daytona Beach. except in Ohio... which makes it not nearly as cool. Which is not a question, I guess. More an observation. Spring break on the Oval at OSU is not cool. Your thoughts?
Ummm... I don't remember that really being a "not cool" event when I was in grad school at OSU.

17. Did you know there is a website called "Food Network Humor". Really, there is. and...uh...will you watch it over spring break? (Good tie in, huh?)
Well done, Wifey, well done. Nope, I will not watch it, and remember, just because a site has "humor" in the title does not mean it is funny.

18. So, any young blond chicks gonna get national attention for being killed on a Caribbean Island this year?
Most likely. However the young black chick choked out by her boyfriend in NJ will not get any airplay. What?!? Was that too cynical?

19. Have there ever been any shark outbreaks during a spring break week?
I would love to see the amalgamation of Discovery Channel's Shark Week and MTV's Spring Break. That is the best idea ever!

20. So, 20 Questions on the topic of Spring Break. Tough, huh?
You have no idea, oh wait, you do.

To recap:
Listening to the Current Geek podcast...
I am such a geek
But I loves me some new science stuff kind of things
Any podcasts I should be paying attention to?
Traveling to Austin, Texas on Friday
Meeting up with Dr B Dawg and Capt McArmypants esq
It is going to be awesome
I am really looking forward to seeing them
And looking forward to some Bar-B-Que
Mmmmmmmm Bar-B-Que

20 Questions Tuesday: 164 - Pencils and Erasers

Something very special happened today waaaay back in 1858. That's right on March 30, 1858 (that's right 152 years ago... 2 diamonds and some cotton according to anniversary gifts) the first pencil with the eraser top was patented by Hyman Lipman.

Oh, Mr. Lipman what you have given society is amazing. Thanks this week go to TheMikeStand, Lsig, Guido, Dr John P, and Some Other Guy. Thanks! On to the Questions!

1. Were you ever tempted to not use a #2 HB pencil on a standardized test? Would they even know if you did?
The trusty old #2 lead is all about levels of reflectivity. #2 pencil leads were opaque enough to register with the scanner. If I were to have used a non #2 pencil (HB) as a kid I would use a #1 pencil (B) because you needed a softer/blacker lead to register with the scanning machines.

All that being said, modern scanners for these kinds of tests can pick up much more subtle marks and should not be limited to #2, but that is just the industry standard now.

2. Mechanical or wood-and-graphite?
Mechanical all the way. My preferred pencil is the blue Pentel 0.07mm mechanical pencil. I do have other pencils for drawing purposes though, but the 0.07mm is the goto.

3. Why did none of us ever die from lead poisoning when we used to poke ourselves in the arm with pencils as kids?
Because it is not really "lead" in a pencil, but hard compacted graphite powder. The hardness of the lead determines the darkness of the mark.

4. Remember Kid from Kid n' Play? Discuss. Or, just comment. Or just continue laughing.
Those were some days, weren't they?

5. What was the logic behind the erasable pen? They never worked as good as a pen and were twice as smudgy (just made that up) as a pencil.
Firstly, I think the word "smudgy" is a perfectly crumulent word. Secondly, erasable pens are necessarily smudgy because erasers work by abrading the surface off of a piece of paper. inks typically absorb into the paper, but to be erasable it needs to dry on top of the paper such that if a mistake is made it can be removed. The bottom line is that if you are going to need to erase, do not use a pen.

6. In school, they always requested #2 pencils. What is a #1 pencil? Where can you buy one? What is it for? What is the difference?
There are 20 classifications of pencils in the world (9H, 8H, 7H, 6H, 5H, 4H, 3H, 2H, H, F, HB, B, 2B, 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 7B, 8B, 9B) that goes from hardest lead to softest lead (lighter to darker) but the US decided to simplify that system to a system of 5 numbers. They are 4 = 2H, 3 = H, 2.5 = F, 2 = HB, and 1 = B (from lightest to darker)

7. How often do you use a pencil?
When I am drawing, it is fairly often, but I really like the feel of ink on paper when I am writing long-hand on paper.

8. Did you have mechanical pencils in elementary school? I remember having some where a number of leads (7-10 maybe?) would stack inside each other, each lead with its own plastic holder. When one would dull, you pulled it out and stuck it back in the top of the pencil to push the next one down.
I remember those as well. They sucked. Pretty early on I stole one of my dad's mechanical pencils from his work... probably around 4th grade.

9. What is your favorite lead-size? Hardness?
0.07mm HB.

10. Do you sometimes draw your maps in pencil, simply so you can have the power to wipe an area off the face of the earth on a whim?
Oh, yes, merely to remove whole countries and landmasses at a whim. When I am mapping, I AM A GOD!

11. No.2 is the standard I guess but could you use a 1 and a 3 on a test in a pinch...you know to average out?
Currently, you could use a stick dipped in jelly and most of the scanners for tests would be able to register the marks, but back in the day you could use a #1 but not a #3 and be okay.

12. So the old pencil sharpeners had like 8 different size holes but I am only familiar with the "regular" size and the giganto size we used in kindergarten. Are there really that many other sizes out there?
I never understood that myself. Especially since the largest hole in the sharpener sometimes was not large enough for the girthy kindergarten pencils.

13. My wife wants me to get rid of the unused pencils I have and I am waiting until they show up on antiques roadshow, should I just cave?
You should cave. Seriously, there is such a glut of old pencils on the market, that old pencils are worth less than 1990 comic books.

14. Where do old partially used erasers go to die?
They are wrapped in un-matched socks and accompanied by missing keys.

15. Do you do crosswords in pencil or in ink?
Umm... firstly, it is quite an assumption that I "do" crosswords. Secondly, pencil, cause I am not that a genius.

16. How many pencils do you own?
Other than the un-used pencils, I would say I have four 0.07mm pencils, two 0.05mm pencils and a 0.03mm pencil. I tend to use the 0.07mm's the most.

17. Was affixing an eraser to the pencil that big of a deal?
Hells yes! Genius. It is up there with sliced bread and the wheel... well, maybe not the wheel.

18. Hyman Lipman? What kind of name is that?
Jewish... clearly it is Jewish. What kind of a question is this? You could show some more respect with a question like this. Would it hurt to call your mother?

19. So, the first pencil with and eraser goes all the way back to 1858, when was the first pencil made?
Using my brown belt in Google-Fu the year 1565 marks the first record of a pencil consisting of a piece of graphite inserted into a wood shaft, making the first ancestor of today's pencil.

20. So on Picture Pages the song says:
"Picture Pages, Picture Pages,
Time to get your Picture Pages,
Time to get your crayons and your pencils..."

WTF is that about? Cosby uses a G.D. marker that makes a bunch of noise. Mortimer Icobod Marker my ass!
I am going to back away slowly and avoid eye contact.

To recap:
It is late and I need to go to bed
Just have to format this baby and be done with it
Now why am I still typing
The whole family is abed
Except for me
Gah! This is getting a bit meta, isn't it?
Anyone want to be interviewed?
I am looking at you Chris Corrigan
Listening (and watching) to the Kevin Pollak's Chat Show
Well worth the download

20 Questions Tuesday:162 - Sports

Tuesday again and there are many questions to answer. This week's topic was randomly selected by a feeble mind, mine.

Thanks this week go to lsig, Lord Pithy, Dr B Dawg, Dr John P, Atmikha, and Sparky! On to the questions!

1. What is it about Ohio that drives its football mania?
I feel I need to clarify some of the football mania that you mention here. Northeastern Ohio is all about the Cleveland Browns, southwestern Ohio is all about the Cincinnati Bengals, and central Ohio is all about the Ohio State Buckeyes. Southeastern Ohio and northwestern Ohio are kind of on their own. In the case of the 2 NFL franchizes, it is the need to be identified with the plucky underdog with the never say die attitude. With the OSU Buckeyes it is the overconfident zealousness that breads the mania.

2. Is NASCAR a sport? How about figure skating?
NASCAR is a culture... not a sport, and I have a hard time dealing with figure skating as a sport since the scoring is heavily weighted on aesthetics. If figure skating were done in non-costumelike active wear would as many people be interested in it? I think figure skating is quickly becoming an activity and not so much a sport.

3. Why do people remain fans of continually-losing franchises (like, say, every team in Cleveland ever)? {Also known as the, "Why do I do this to myself? Year after year? What is wrong with me?" question}
Sometimes it is hard to associate with a winner. I think the fact that Cleveland has so many fans outside of Cleveland for all of its teams is because they never win everything, but they come close every once in a while. They are safe teams to love because their fans are not threats to the franchises of the day.

4. How on earth will I console Big Papa if LeBron leaves Cleveland?
Well, to start, I think both of you will have to stop calling out LeBron's name in the heat of passion

5. TRON: light cycles or discs?
Yes. Both will do nicely

6. I drew little hearts and unicorns on my jockstrap and the other guys stare. Are they interested or just jealous?
My bet is 25% is interested, 25% jealous, 50% confused, 24% DISGUSTED, 10% feeling bizarre because they feel interested, jealous, confused, and disgusted at the same time, and 3% completely thrown off that this adds up to 137%.

7. Trend-forward, what do you predict will be the new X-TREME sport of the 2020 Summer Olympics?

8. I like wrestling?
As a euphemism? yes... and for you everything is a euphemism.

9. How many words can make using the letters from "sports" only once?
If you have to use all the letters, only 1 (strop), for any combo of letters, 45.

10. If question 1 were timed would that make it sport or a game?
I think more of a game as long as it did not involve the Internets.

11. If question 2 were played while spinning in pads on a field with 20 other people simultaneously, would it be a sport at that point?
Depends on how points would be allocated.

12. How many sports have you played?
Actually signed up on a roster would be 2. Soccer and fencing.

13. What is the best sporting event you have ever attended not including the glory days of the Kent State University Golden Flashes?
This is an interesting question. I am taking out sporting events I participated in (so my soccer team winning the state tournament is out). Hmmm... the 2001 MLS Cup game between the San Jose Earthquakes and the LA Galaxy. DeRo wins it in overtime with a cracker of a shot.

14. We all love to see people at the top levels of performance compete so why not allow the use of any type of enhancement drug imaginable? I mean really that would be sooo cool to see how far humans can go with modern chemistry.
Why limit it to drugs? Couldn't we genetically and mechanically augment athletes to perform their particular sport more effectively?

15. Does a "sports package" really make a car more fun? I think it should include a football, soccer ball and croquet set.
Point of order, croquet is not a sport. You do have a very strong point about the "sport package" not necessarily being super sporty.

16. Can there be sport without competition, as in yoga, tai chi, ballet?
Nope. There cannot. Not to cheapen those activities, because nary a one of the three you mentioned am I capable of doing. Sport, I think necessitates keeping track of scores and winning and losing.

17. Why are professional athletes so glamourized and monetarily overcompensated, while professional soldiers are underpain and faceless?
Because war is ugly and professional sports are not. The best soldier out there is trained to kill people for a living and hopefully for a purpose. That, while heroic and socially necessary, is ugly and not something celebrated in a public forum.

18. What’s with lacrosse?
I know, who does Lacrosse think he is?... Actually I have been constantly surprised at how not popular Lacrosse is. One would think that sport would be a shoo-in for popular American sport.

19. Favorite women’s sport? Not a sport that is exclusive to women, just your favorite sport to watch women play…er, if that makes sense.
It is a predominantly female sport, Field Hockey, mainly because the players tend to be higher on the hotness scale.

20. What impact do you think the tremendous fall of Tiger Woods will have on golf, if any? I mean, no doubt he’ll play again and probably even dominate, but I wouldn’t want to have to walk the course with him the first time he faces the spectators.
I think it might have made pro golf more sexy and given the sport a caché that it never had before. Sure the likes of Tiger Woods will be few and far between, but now aspiring 15 year old kids everywhere want to have the god-like golf skills to dominate the PGA and shag numberless women. They really want the later part and now know that being at the apex of golf can get them that.

To recap:
Apologies to Belsum, I did not get your questions (which were very fun) until after I had written the post
This new job has Mt Dew at a fountain.... not like a chocolate fountain or anything, but a fountain nonetheless
It is baaaaad for me
Very bad
We cleaned the house last week
It looked great
The kitchen needs some cleaning again
Dishes! Why must you turn my kitchen into a house of filth and debauchery?!!?
Listening to an above normal amount of noise in the new jobberoony

20 Questions Tuesday: 161 - Books

Time seems to be moving faster now that i am employed. It looks like doing stuff every day gets the flow of time to move better. I like this aspect of working in every part of my life other than the part where I don't see the kids as much. That being said, Q is now realizing that I am not around as much and I am therefore more desirable to be around. So I at least got that going for me.

With all the changes in technology going on and how much reading I am doing to get myself up to speed with this new job, the topic of books is on my mind. Therefore today's 20 Question Tuesday is about books.

Thanks this week go to Dr Clean, Capt McArmypants, esq., Dr John P, (wow, many a higher education degree giving questions... buncha nerds!), and some other guy. Onto the questions!

1. How many books do you own?
I have never really counted them up. Surely over a hundred books are in the house, but we have purged many a book from the domicile over the years. "How many books have I EVER owned?" is a much different question.

2. Have you read all of them? If not how many do you have the you have not read? If you read them 40 hours a week, how long would it take to finish them?
Nope, let me also clear up that some of the books in the house are books from Wifey's and my college days , so they are pretty dense informational tombs that are difficult to wade through. It could take nigh on forever to read all of them

3. Do you really like the new readers? There just seems to be something about holding a book that makes it more satisfying.
There is something very necessary to me about the tactile issue of turning a page of a book and the weight of a book and the smell of the paper etc..., however, traveling with one of those readers seems much more convienient. For example, I had a business trip a while ago where I bought one of Naomi Novik's Temeraire books. Not literature by any means. Well fast forward 6 hours of flying time later and the book is over and I am left with nothing else to read for the rest of my 2 day trip. One of the readers would either have more books on it or have the ability to get more books easily.

4. Do you think that e-readers make it harder to jump to the end of a mystery to see “who done it?”
Not especially. I think if one wants to deal with spoilers, one will find a way to do it rather expediently.

5. Are there some books that just don’t “translate” to the e-readers?
I am not sure, because I do not have an e-reader yet. I would imagine that choose your own adventure books might be an issue...

6. What do you do with all the shelves in the library/study if all your books are electronic?
I would put a closet in the room and call it a bedroom. Resale baby!

7. Should e-readers come with a “scratch and sniff” musty card to give you a better reading experience when tackling classics?
There is actually another issue with e-readers that I think needs to be addressed before the musty smell. That is issue of pretentiousness. Sure having an e-reader already gives one the air of pretension, but the person reading the device has to verbally let people know what hipster clap-trap he is reading in order for we, non-e-readers, to know what hipster douche-baggery he is reading.

8. Are you going to get an iPad or wait till it comes with “wings”?
I don't think the iPad offers much more than other devices. It is not as large as a tablet PC, but not small enough to be pocketable. It does not have e-ink for reading, but it is supposedly a platform for reading books. It is kind of a jack-of-all-trades, but master of none.

9. Egon Spangler stated in Ghostbusters that "Print is Dead". How do you respond this....I mean he is a freakin Ghostbuster that should some water, I would imagine!?
I think that the print industry might be dealing with some dead issues, but print itself will never die. There are just too many intangibles associated with reading a book that readers will neer replicate. Therefore I say unto you, that the publishing industry is dying, but print-on-demand is about to boom.

10. Bookstore or Library?
Bookstore. I cannot, and I mean cannot stand the cellophane dust jacket covers that every library puts on their hardbacks... It really drives me insane listening to the slight crackle and pop of the over slick translucent surface creaking with every page turn and repositioning of my fingers. I seriously hate that sound.

11. So a few years ago, I see this lady on CNN complaining about Math books being 20 years old as an example of how broken her school system is. What up with that, has math changed somehow?....For clarification, I wish to direct your focus to the "old math book" complaint not the nigh irrefutable argument that whatever school system she was talking about was broken.
To be truthful there is always a bunch of stuff happening on math that is making it new again, however those new things are happening at the edges of math where tensor sets and convex hull reside. Where you have to do a LaPlace transform on a Lagrange function to get the Eigen values associated with the Dirichlet turning point and shit like that. Math is not a stagnant field, and it has never been. That being said, the most recently generated stuff that is being taught in high school is from the 1900's and 1930's at latest. So, other than updating the word problems with more current technologies and diverse names, math texts are not really in need of updating.

12. Like the Books on Tape much?
Not especially, although I have been getting into podcasts as of late.

13. More overblown author: J.K. Rowling or Dan Brown?
Hmmm... I could go either way on this one for different reasons, but I am going to go with Dan Brown. Most of his cache is associated with creating fictional stories that revolve around touchy religious subjects. Illuminatic Papal succession, Gnostic Jesus Marriage, and Freemasonic crap are the marketing engine that drives his very formulaic page-turners. The Davinci Code would not have been nearly as popular (and definitely not a crappy Tom Hanks movie) if detractors didn't detract the background flimsy arguments so much.

14. Best book(s) you have ever read.
Classics that you have to read in High School: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Genre Creators: Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
Recent: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

15. I can still pick up and read a 100 year old book...in another 100 years would I be able to use a Kindle?
Like I said before, there will always be some kind of print media around. It will not be as abundant as before, but it will be there. I am sure that, barring some kind of technological collapse and complete societal failing, that most of our digital media will survive in some way, shape, or form.

16. Do you prefer paperbacks or hardcover?

17. If you could get any first edition printing what would it be?
The Bible, and then I would sell it and live off the proceeds. Thank you God!

18. Can you take an ebook to a book signing? How would that work?
That is a very good question... I will have to pose this question to an author some day.

19. Is the book always better than the movie?
Nope, not always. There are many movies out there that I have seen where I did not read the book. There are literary purists out there who will cry foul at this, but I would not read the book because of the time investment associated with reading a book, but I have 100 to 200 minutes that I can kill.

20. What are you reading right now?
This very second? The words that I am typing across the screen, but I am sure you are talking about what books I am in the middle of at the moment. I am in the middle of 2 books
Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows for my worklife and Dark Lady's Chosen by Gail Martin for funsies

To recap:
I am reading 2 books and remembering none.... that ain't good
I need to line up another interviewee... any volunteers
Little Man's breathing has been raggedy lately
My sleep has been shoddy lately
Same with my sinuses
They have been incredibly shoddy lately
The sun has finally come back out for a few days
That has been nice
Out of town guests this weekend
Great, now I have to clean the toilets
I hate having to hit the "send and receive" button on my work email
I will be getting business cards soon
And implementing the first project soonish
I need some music/podcasts to listen to here at work
And headphones
Listening to a myriad of conversations right now

20 Questions Tuesday: 160 - Potpourri

I was not feeling especially inspired this week, and it has been ages since I have done a potpourri of questions, so this week, there was no topic and I let the questioneers have free reign, and they were not terribly comfortable with the free reign. What the kids need is limits

Thanks this week to Belsum, Lsig, Capt McArmypants, wait... wait... wait a second. I have not been giving the respect to McArmypants that he is due... Capt McArmypants esquire, Wifey, and John P.

On to the questions:

1. Who ends up taking the kids to most of their appointments, you or Wifey?
Mainly Wifey now since my schedule has firmed up a bit more and I am further away from the childcare providers.

2. What’s the most in trouble the Little Man has ever been?
Little Man is sometimes annoying because he is 6, but I cannot say that he has ever been truly in "trouble." He really is a good kid and most of that can be pinned on his rule follwoing behavior. He is quite rigid in his sense of rules. In time I imagine this will change.

3. Do punishments increase good behavior for any period of time after the initial time out/grounding?
Again, he has not been really punished for much. The worst thing he is doing right now is selectively hearing what Wifey and I tell him to do.

4. Do either of the kids still have a blankie or other lovey object?
Little Man never really bonded with a singular object for overly long. He had a stuffed leopard that was a pal for a while, but that didn't really last too long. Q, on the other hand, seems like she will have the potential for a true lovey, but she has not found that object as of yet.

5. Are you interested in the "Clash of the Titans" remake?
Interested, and yet a bit flummoxed by it. Since Hollywood is remaking stuff, I understand why CotT got the nod, but there is something sacred about the old version.

6. What was your favorite part of the Olympics, assuming you watched?
I love the 4 man Bobsled/Bobsleigh competition. Gold for the USA this time around.

7. What is the best part of your new job? What is the worst so far?
a) I either directly or indirectly help hungry people to eat. That is just plain great. b) the commute is a bit tiring and I don't like mornings.

8. Who likes breakfast the most in your family?
Likes it? Probably me, but I don't eat it too much because it happens in the morning. I have been doing what I can to avoid the morning as much as possible.

9. So how much cooler would potpourri be if instead of overwhelming floweriness, it smelled like bacon and was edible? Yeh, I am describing bacon what of it!!?
So, you are suggesting to have little decorative bowls of bacon bits around the house to create a bacon-y aroma throughout the domicile? What is the rodent problem like where you live?

10. For the rest of my questions I have decided to send you the Olympics questions that I did not have time to complete, is that cool?
That's cool.

11. So the Olympics are over, do you think my "grass-roots" letter writing campaign for discus and hammer-throw on skates will be implemented by the committee in 2014? I really think this thing has potential. (Not so much a fan favorite type event, but the youtube clips will be the stuff of legend.)
I love the idea of the hammer throw on ice, but let's think about the logistics of this event. Is the hammer being thrown into a frozen pond and how thick is the ice on said frozen pond? Is the thrower on shore throwing onto the pond or on the pond throwing on the pond? How often does the pond's surface ice get replaced? I love the idea though.

12. Anybody else tired of the media making excuses for Vonn BEFORE she even started the race? I mean they are athletes don't you think most of them are playing hurt?
I think most of the reporters think she is pretty and are trying to get interviews with her because they think that if she meets them that they would have a chance.

13. Also, similar in them to Q3, I would like to see Taekwondo on ice. Would you be willing to watch this and or join me in my other letter writing campaign?
They get/have to wear skates, right? All for it then!

14. Whatever happened to potpourri? It was all the rage once. Now no one leaves smelly desiccated flowers all over their house and calls it "good".
I am not sure why potpourri went the way of the dodo bird, but it definitely did. My bet is that the olfactory aesthetic shifted from masking odors to getting rid of odors. Now when someone feels that a hose "smells nice" they do not mean smells like dried rose petals and orange peel so much as they cannot smell anything.

15. Why no topic this Tuesday?

16. How is the new job?
I like it, even though, it seems more challenging every day

17. Give us the analysis on the curling event for the Olympics. Did it live up to your expectations?
I did not watch nearly enough of curling this Olympics. I instead was playing Star Trek Online. When choosing between watching people slide a rock down some ice while screaming "Curl!" "Curl!" Curl!" in multiple languages, I choose killing Klingons on Parsis Beta 4.

18. Current beer recommendations.
I have had to stop drinking beer much due to gastro-intestinal reasons. I get really really burpy with the beers. Quite uncomfortably bloated in fact.

19. Something about bacon here...
It would not be good potpourri

20. Are the kids getting cabin fever yet? I can't wait for spring!
Who cares about the kids? Wifey and I are getting cabin fever!

To recap:
I would absolutely love it if Mississippi State's mascot became Admiral Ackbar
Seriously, I would buy their schwag in a heartbeat
And growing up in Alabama/Auburn country, that is saying a whole lot
Caprica is seriously slow... Sweet Jebus, I wanna see some robots killing people and vice versa
I am tired of this half cold I have at the moment
I am also tired of these sinuses
I can hear air seeping from one sinus chamber into the other
People near me can hear it too
They are pretty freaked out
Maybe I should see a ENT Doc about this
I need to get some kind of musical player device in this here office area
At the moment I am listening to 2 fundraising conversation and a conversation about gps tracking trucks and a conversation about line times associated with product pulling in the freezer
The truth is: I don't wanna work
I Just Want To Bang On The Drum All Day
Seriously Ole Miss could shout "It's a trap" whenever they kick off
Their secondary would be known as Rogue Squadron
They would be the Runnin Reb-el Alliance

20 Questions Tuesday: 159 - Interview with Duane Rollins

One of the things that I have decided to do since I "re-branded" the blog to be 20 Questions Tuesday is to interview people from these here series of tubes that I find interesting. The first such person of note is Duane Rollins from the award winning Canadian soccer football blog the 24th Minute. He is 1 of the 3.5 people who are on the pod-cast called "It's Called Football," and that is where I first was introduced to his work. He is an avid footie follower and a superfan for both Toronto FC from the MLS and Manchester City from the English Premier League. He is a very pragmatic analyst of Canadian football and a strong supporter of the MLS brand.

All this being said, he has, in some small circles, been branded as a soccer hooligan, and has had a tazer shoved into his back by the Columbus Police at a Columbus Crew game. He is no fan for the Front Office of the Columbus Crew (who is?) and the enemy of many a person on the BigSoccer boards.

A warning though. For those of you readers who are not interested in soccer, let me make it clear, this is soccer heavy... really soccer heavy. In fact I would say that it is almost all about soccer.

...And without further ado... 20 Questions with Duane Rollins:

I had the lovely occasion to see Man U lose to Everton for the 1985 Charity Shield just before going to the Bobby Charlton School of Soccer. That experience put American sports in perspective for me which leads me to question 1...
1. Have you been to a Man City game at Eastlands and, if so, how does that atmosphere differ from a typical North American sporting event?
Sadly, I have not made Eastlands. All of my European trips have been in the summer, during the closed season. In my mind the difference between the atmosphere at a NA sporting event and in Europe isn't as big as you think. Money has forced the average fan out of stadiums at the highest level and changes to the security in and around the games have made things far more subdued than you would have seen back in 1985. I think the true football fan experience can be found in the lower leagues now (just as you find the true soul of hockey in Canada in Major Junior rinks and the true soul of (gridiron) football in the U.S. is on a Texas high school field).

Interesting, I was amazed at how an entire stadium could chant and sing something other than "Bullshit." Chanting Bullshit for a bad call and the "wave" are about the only thing that the entirety of an American stadium can do. So, I know the answer to this one, but my "legion" of readers may not know it
2. Why is your blog titled "The 24th Minute?"
The short answer is that it was the minute that Toronto FC scored it's first ever goal in MLS. The longer answer is that I felt that was the moment that Canadian soccer turned the corner and truly became part of the mainstream. The reaction of the crowd with the seat cushions flying onto the field told me that people actually cared about this team. It's hard to remember now, but in the lead-up to TFC's first season there were a lot of people that suggested that it wouldn't work. After Danny Dichio scored at 23:13, no one made those arguments.

That was a pretty amazing sight seeing all the cushions on the field. I have yet to make the Toronto trip for a TFC v Crew game, but it is on the list of things I would like to do. I grew up playing soccer at a moderately high level in 1980's Alabama, a hotbed for American football, so..
3. What drew you to soccer? I imagine there were other sports with much stronger systems to steal your attention
I grew up just outside of Belleville, Ont., which is a small city in Eastern Ontario right smack in the middle of hockey country (the city's junior hockey team -- the Bulls -- is hugely successful and an obsession there). Hockey was a major part of my life -- playing, refereeing and watching -- in my childhood and teens. However, I was always drawn to all sports and especially sports that involved Canada playing (I'm a big Olympics guy as well). So, I obviously was drawn to watching on TV that faithful day in 1985 when Canada made its first and only World Cup by beating Honduras in St. John's, Newfoundland. Even at a young age, I understood that being one of the 24 teams playing in a World Cup was probably more significant than being the best hockey country on earth. So, I was hooked. In later years I started to learn more about my British heritage (family in Bristol) and it was from there that my interest in English football and Man City came to be.

4. Speaking of the Olympics, what is the most unusual Olympic Event that you find yourself unable to miss?
The most unusual Olympic event is a tough one to define, but rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline are a little outside my understanding of what spot is. In the winter games, I find Nordic combined to be a bit bizarre -- who thinks of combining cross-country skiing and ski jumping? Doesn't make any sense to me. That said, I love Olympic sport and one of the reasons I do is because it exposes me to a lot of sports that I might not normally see (I'm always, for instance, upset that they don't show handball on North American TV). In terms of what I never miss, in the summer games I am a huge track fan, especially the sprints. It's my position that the men's 100m is the greatest single sporting event of any four year period. In the winter games, I grew up as a huge ski racing fan and especially as a fan of the men's downhill. So, that's a can't miss. But, basically there is only one Olympic event that I won't give a chance to -- figure skating. I appreciate that the participants are great athletes, but any sport that requires the participants to get their make-up just right loses me a bit.

Well said about the figure-skating. Costume should not matter.
5. Other than watching footie and your Olympic watching, what hobbies do you claim?
I also do a little music writing and have always been very interested in rock, especially what some would call alternative rick, music. Although I don't get out to see shows as much as I would like I feel privileged to have seen a lot of great acts through the years (Rage Against the Machine on the same day as Tool and Alice in Chains back in '93 was a particular highlight, as was almost getting kicked out of a Ramones show in '94 for getting on the stage (I was 2-inches from Joey, God rest his soul. And in my defence I was pushed up -- and I might have been a little drunk...)). But, beyond the big names (massive Oasis and U2 fan as well) I love to see Canadian indie music (a shout out to Celtic-punk legends The Mahones here, along with my favourite band of all time The Lowest of the Low). I also play a lot of the sim video game Football Manager, but I'm not proud of that...(even the game that won the UEFA Cup with Lombard-Papa TFC of Hungary -- Ok, I'm a little proud of that...).

Interesting... You should write the intro and outro to "It's Called Football" before you get into copyright trouble with U2, BTW.
6. What instruments do you play? and what is your favorite.
I only play the "ears." No talent, just appreciation. In terms of a favourite sound...wow, that's a tough one. I suppose that if I could be a rock star I'd want to be on vocals -- my need for attention would be appeased.

7. So if there were a movie of your life, what would you want the title to be?
Since I value originality and independence I'd want something that reflects that. How about Not Typical: The Duane Rollins Story. However, if it were to actually happen it will likely be called The Duane Rollins Story: A Case Study in Procrastination or "No really, honey, I'm on the Internet doing research, I swear to God".

I really like "The Duane Rollins Story: A Case Study in Procrastination." That has a nice ring to it.
8. Place the regulars (including yourself) from "It's Called Football" in the roles from Gilligan's Island... and go:
Rycroft is the professor, Knight the Skipper, Squizz is Gilligan and I'm...Ginger. I did wear a dress on air remember.

I saw the dress episode and the other images, and you, sir, are no Ginger. Mrs Howell maybe, but Ginger? Crazy talk there, just plain crazy talk. The rest is acceptable, but I would have also accepted Knight as Mr Howell and you as Skipper.
9. Most podcasts inevitably digress into talking about food. So far I have not seen "It's Called Football" do that. I am impressed that you and your cohorts tend to stay dogmatically on topic. That being said, I KNOW that there is a large amount of pent up food talk within you. So... What is your favorite restaurant in the greater Toronto area?
There are too many great restaurants in Toronto to pinpoint just one, so I'm going to go outside the GTA. Canada's best restaurant and the best Mexican north of, well, Mexico is in Fredericton, New Brunswick. El Burrito Loco. Ammmmazing.

I'll take it! Ask for "in the metro area" and get "in the Country?" That is a win in my book.
10. What are your weekly/daily/hourly Internet reads?
I live on the soccer boards -- BigSoccer, the TFC U-Sector and Red Patch and the Canadian Voyageur's. That's where I get a lot of my leads (no, I don't take what's written there as gospel, but rather use them to see what people are talking about). So those are hourly reads. I read a lot of City blogs -- The Lonesome Death of Roy Carroll is my favourite -- as well, although not as much as the TFC, MLS and Canadian boards. And, I try to read American blogs like Match Fit USA at least once a day. I also keep an eye out to see if Archer, or his his mini-me equivalent Fake Sigi, has defamed me that day.

11. How much crap do you have to sift through to get ANYTHING worth while from BigSoccer?
A lot and very little. If you were to go in blind you would be overwhelmed by the site, but once you've been on for a while (I've been a poster since Jan. 2003 and I read for about a year before that) you start to know what posters are worth reading and which ones aren't. I mostly read MLS News and Analysis, which tends to be a little more highbrow than, say, MLS: General. The Rivals forum makes my head hurt, although I have friends that swear it's the most cathartic thing ever.

I imagine it is much like any other reference institution. Without a librarian worth their salt, a Library is only a place with lots of books in it.
12. So, after the nasty over-response to the minor dust up at Crew Stadium (god they need a stadium naming sponsor or at least name it Lamar Field or something like that) you have stated that you will not travel to a Crew game due to the threat of tazing. Any chance that you would head to a Crew game in Columbus?
There is a better than average change that I will be at Crew Stadium. There is no chance that the TFC supporter's groups will organize a trip down this year (unless it's in the playoffs). It's also inaccurate to suggest that it's a boycott, although there was some talk of that in the early days after the March trip last year. The issue that the groups have is that they feel that the Crew front office failed to take any security measures whatsoever, despite efforts from the leaders of the Toronto trip to work with them to ensure a safe trip for all. No one is justifying the actions of a few Toronto supporters that crossed the line last year, but it is worth pointing out that there were only three arrests made that day at Crew Stadium and only one was a TFC supporter. The other two arrests were people that lived in Columbus, according to public police reports.

Anyone who was on the ground that day will tell you that the reaction of police was way over the top. In my case, I had the tazer shoved in my ribs because I was attempting to videotape police interaction with other Toronto fans. There were police cars screaming through the parking lot at high speeds to deal with an altercation that could have easily been avoided if Crew Stadium security had just held back the Toronto fans for about 15 minutes and stopped fans that were clearly wearing Hudson Street Hooligans t-shirts from gathering at the bottom of the stairs that the TFC supporters had to use to leave. All issues the TFC supporters groups attempted to alert the Crew front office to.

Yeah the Crew front office really botched that one, big time. That and the reaction of the police was comically over zealous. There are more violence/crime/arrests due to OSU away game outcomes. Next time you make it to C-bus, flash me and email and I will raise a pint with you somewhere friendly... Hell, I'll even buy.
13. Do you play soccer, and if so, what position do you play. I was a kickass fullback and stopper/sweeper back in the day.
Yep. I was a full-back for quite a few years as a kid before being switched up to a winger position (I used to run track as a kid and had some speed). Outdoors I usually play up front now, but I've actually been playing a bit of goal indoors lately as a way to prolong how long I can play competitively (as competitively as a beer league provides, anyway). My biggest regret is that I never received any proper coaching as a kid. I learned the game by watching it.

I am of the opinion that the stronger MLS sides would be able to survive in the Football League Championship of England if they were able to stay healthy. That is a big "if" because MLS sides have no depth to speak of. As a caveat, I feel like I need to spell this out more specifically. They would not be pushing themselves into the Prem, but surviving in the mid-low areas of the table.
14. What is your opinion on my opinion?
In a perfect, video game world, the top MLS teams would, in my opinion, finish near midtable in the CCC. I base that on looking at the type of players that come from England to MLS and how they do while here. To use Toronto examples, you see a player like Carl Robinson come over and fit right in. Robinson was a mid-table CCC player. Jim Brennan and Danny Dichio are two other examples. A League One player, Ali Gerba, didn't do so well last year...

My thoughts exactly. It is like we were separated at birth... at least MLS opinion-wise.
15. Provided that the Collective Bargaining Agreement is finalized and the MLS owners and MLS players are all happy-go-lucky with each other, which team do you see being the surprise team of the year?
That depends on what you mean by surprise. If it's a positive surprise I have a hunch about Colorado finally getting it right. They've been close to the playoffs for a few years and with the fire power they have up front, I could see them breaking through. In terms of a negative surprise, I can't get past the idea that this will be a slip back season for Houston. They were able to move DeRo last year because they had Holden waiting. Now...

Personally I think RBNY is going to be the "surprise" this season but only because anything they do will be better than last season.
16. Worse name Real Salt Lake or Red Bull New York?
It's not close. Salt Lake is the worst name in the history of sport because it makes the league look amateur and ignorant of the sport's history. Red Bulls is just corporate pandering. Whatever. It's 2010, that's just the way the world works. But, SLC named its team the same way that you would name a house league team -- after a famous team that you have no history with. The only difference is that instead of 4-year-olds chasing butterflies playing under the name, you have Kyle Beckerman's hair. SLC's name actually makes me angry it's so bad. And, you'll note I never used it. I refuse to.

I never understood why they didn't just go alphabet soup on Salt Lake City. They should have been FCSLC or SLCFC. It is like our soccer football minds were separated at birth.
17. Who is your dream interview for The 24th Minute? For It's Called Football?
Wow, that's a tough one. Actually, we've been really fortunate in getting many of the top names in the sport here in Canada -- interviewing Craig Forrest and Jason deVos were real highlights for me as those were players I really enjoyed watching. If TFC signs Paul Dickov (he's been on trial), I would absolutely be thrilled to have a chat with him about the late 90s at City and that famous game at Wembley where he scored in the 94th minute to erase a 2-0 deficit in the League One playoff (if City had lost that game, God knows what would have happened...). But, that's the blue in me.

But, if I had to make a list of three dream interviews for ICF for this season (balancing both the excitement of the interview and the exposure it would provide the show) they would be 1) - Don Garber, 2) - Bob Foose and 3) - Mo Johnston

The caveat of that list is that I would want to do the interview after each had consumed at least 5 glasses of wine.

I don't see those happening if they have been imbibing, but I would love to hear Foose and Garber off the record. Mo is a much more Toronto centric interview, and one day he might give you some sound bites, but I doubt much more than sound bites. All three of those potential interviewees are very politic in their delivery. I am not sure that the IFC crew would be able to put them off their game enough to get non talking point answers.
18. Who has been the most fun to interview so far. And let me be clear, by interview I mean someone who is really an "interview" and not a frequent guest.
Another tough one to answer because there have been so many good ones and because what's good for a TFC audience might not be as good for a non-Toronto audience.

That said, the last Julian de Guzman interview we did had a lot of really good stuff in it for the hardcore fan. We got him to talk a lot about his time in La Liga and some of the financial issues over there. Plus, he's a DP. Surprisingly, the DeRo interview we did earlier this month was solid too. To be honest we weren't expecting Dwayne to give us much.

But, if I had to pick one it would be the Jimmy Conrad interview from December. Jimmy is a funny guy and his personality really came through. However, he also gave us a lot of info on the CBA that has since become common knowledge but at the time was less talked about.

I have a request into Mr Conrad as well for a 20 Questions Tuesday spot, but I have heard nary a word back. Actually those three interviews you mentioned were also three of my favs of yours as well. Each for different reasons.

I guess it is time to turn the tables a bit.
19. Since we have been email chatting for 3 days now, are there any questions you have for me?
Sure. As a Columbus fan,what does the Crew front office need to do to get more than the 2-3,000 hardcore to care about that team? Winning didn't do it. Is it even possible?

In my honest opinion, there are a few different things that the front office needs to do to get butts in the seats.

Firstly, there is no local marketing to speak of. It has been years since I have heard a Crew radio spot unless it was for the play-offs. When McBride and Martino were on the team they would do some local radio shows... of course the team was abysmal at the time, but more in the local public consciousness. Make themselves heard.

Secondly, the team should not be counting on ticket sales to be their primary profit margin. That is the beauty of owing their own stadium. The revenue from ancillary sales at the stadium should be the driving force of their revenue and not ticket sales. Drop the ticket price for student ID's and get the OSU (within walking distance) crowd in there. They are hungry and thirsty because they are college students and are willing to pay a premium for nachos and beverages. Drop day of game ticket prices as well. Start with the upper deck seats and sell into the lower bowl. You start filling the stadium and more people will want to be there.

Thirdly, clearly they are not enticing people enough with their ticket packages right now. Drop the season ticket prices until they start to get some people in the seats. Get people in the stands and make it seem like a scarce resource. Then people will WANT to be there. I don't think that the front office has done due diligence in determining where the proper price point is for their tickets. If tickets were $5 cheaper and they got 1000 more people a game would that offset? I don't know, but I am afraid that neither do they.

If the average ticket price is 25 but they only get 14k people in the stands it looks empty and they have only gotten $35000 in ticket sales for the game. Figure out what price would get you 20k consistently and increase the price of your drinks by $0.15 or something like that. Your stadium looks full and you make the same amount of money. I feel that the office is too worried about looking like they are not a "premium entertainment" market like the Blue Jackets where a family of 4 can easily spend $300 for an evening, and therefore increase their ticket price to seem more premium. At this point it should be about getting people's butts in the seats at whatever price.

Fourthly, it seems trivial but do something with the parking situation. Currently it is a swamp. Pave it/gravel it/ do something with it. It is a deterrent to people going to the game. I know this anecdotally from multiple people I used to work with. They stated that they did not want to take their sedan into that morass because they wouldn't be able to get out and many a folk who lived in their suburb wouldn't go for the same reason.

Those are my prescriptions for getting more people into the games. I know there are some faults with my line of thinking, but I have not seen a serious effort from the front office to get more butts in the seats and it needs to happen.

So in conclusion...
20. Anything emblazoned on your memory from this interview?
Just, and this is going to come off as a little trite, how unifying this sport can be for fans in the U.S. and Canada. It's like a little secret society, with it's own customs and language. Even though we're, supposedly, from two rival cities, and two different countries, we can instantly start a conversation that is easy and understandable to both of us.

I've experienced that whenever I travel in MLS. In Chicago last October, for instance, I had people approach me to thank me for coming and I even had one guy from the Section 8 tailgate call out my name as I passed by to tell me that he liked the show. I have friends from all over North American because of MLS. I'm not sure it's the same way in other places in the world.

That's one of the main issues I have with Bill Archer and his ilk. He/they are dividers, determined to put a wedge between Canadian and American fans and to paint Toronto fans in the worst possible way. Yes, there is legitimate rivalry and there are those that take things way too seriously, but, at the root, most fans of MLS teams understand that we're all in it together and that we need to stick together to grow the sport.

To recap:
I will probably garner some negative comments from Mr Rollins' detractors
Oh well,
I enjoy these interviews
One problem with interviewing a freelance writer is that they write a bunch and quickly
Long 20 Questions Tuesday today
but worth it if you like North American soccer
Listening to the interns talk about six sigma stuff
Interns... sheesh

20 Questions Tuesday: 158 - Winter Olympics

So the XXI Olympic Winter Games are upon us and therefore the topic for this week just jumped up and smacked me in the face. Topics are sometimes like that. So without further ado... thanks this week to ACW, Nadolny, John P, Dr B Dawg, Guido, and Wifey. On to the Questions!:

1. El Niño has been a bastard to the weather in Vancouver – do you think they’ll ever get the Alpine events in?
I do, but it is interesting how warm this Olympiad will be. Next year when it is a la Niña year will be the cold and snowy year.

2. Any thoughts on a forced-retirement for Al Michaels?
I would think at some point he would want to walk away. Except for the fact that this way he gets to go to the Olympics for free. Costas is clearly going to be his replacement, but he needs to hang up the boots soon too. Where are the new young sportscasters anyway?

3. Vonn – rowrrrr! Enough said
Funny you should say this. I follow the Onion (@TheOnion) on Twitter and this was one of the tweets from Sunday:
BREAKING: Bob Costas Claims U.S. Women's Hockey Team The Most Fuckable In History

See how I brought this question together with the previous question? This isn't my first dance.

4. Is Little Man getting into the games? What sport does Little Man want to try now that he is watching the games?
He is indeed. The thing that really kills me about this though is that the first thing that he saw from the Olympics was the footage of the Georgian Luger's crash. So his first exposure the Winter Olympics was of someone dying. Brilliant TV there NBC. Jackasses. That being said, he really doesn't want anything to do with most of the games other than spectating.

5. Does Casa Del SRH decorate for the Olympics? Really?
Nope. Can I say that to celebrate the Olympics we stop cleaning the house months in advance? 'Cause If a mess of a house is your idea of decor though, then maybe we do.

6. Since you are a fountain of information, or at least your google fu is high, give us a brief history of the Olympics.
This is the 21st installment of the Winter Games. Previous to this Hockey was played as an event in the regular Olympics. That brief enough for ya?

7. Do you think the Lightning Thief movie was put out right now to be in conjunction with the Olympics?
Nope. I think they put it out right now because it does not have enough buzz to sustain it in the summer blockbuster period or the holiday period, but it could fair well enough in the slow movie season that is Feb, March, and April.

8. Speaking of that, how many of these remakes are they gonna do? The classic Greek movies were great and the remakes, on the whole, just suck it.
There is not a single new idea in Hollywood at the moment. The best we can hope for is franchise reboots like Star Trek.

9. If you were in an Olympic event, which would you be? Little Man, Q, wifey?
Me: Probably biathlon
Little Man: Short track speed skating, or the long track sprints
Q: Too young to tell, but maybe ice dancing
or we could all be a bobsled team.... now that is an Olympic event. The Family Bobsled Competition....

10. 3 part question: A)Did you or a friend have a Commodore 64 and if so B) did you have the copied disk for winter games? C)Do you know anyone that actually purchased a game for the Commodore 64?
A) A friend
B) Yes
C) Yes

11. What Olympic sport do you see yourself competing in if physical prowess and money for training were a given?
Either the biathlon or 4 man Bobsled

12. Why is Yeti wrestling not in the Winter Olympics?
Yetis are foul smelling baby-eaters who recognize wrestling only as a tactic for foreplay. No one wants to wrestle the horny baby eating bastards of stink.

13. Do you consider the Winter Olympics the coolest of the Olympics?

14. Life or death situation, would you mogul or would you just say go ahead and say shoot?
Both would end up with me dying, so I would at least try the moguls.

15. So if the luge is dangerous going feet first, why haven't they interviewed the Skeleton riders. Or are those athletes occupied due to soiling themselves constantly about the track.
I am not sure they can find any of the Skeleton riders... They are all in hiding... hiding from the scary scary race track

16. Did you enjoy the opening ceremonies?
I thought the organizers did a good job of including the First Nations into the opening ceremonies, but I also felt that they could have done something with a flaming hockey puck and Gretzky to light the flame since he is a Canadian hero and Hockey is the national past-time.

17. If you had grown up somewhere besides Alabama, what "winter sports paradise" state would you have preferred?

18. Which of the events would you not classify as a "sport"?
Curling... it is however an event.

19. I know what winter olympic sport you would want to do - bobsled, duh - what one wouldn't you ever want to do?
Ski jump.

20. What is so fascinating about curling? I really need to know. I'll watch that sport every time.
There is something to the everyman-ness of it. We all think that we could be out there doing that. I can sweep a broom, I can slide rocks.

To recap:
Anyone else watching Caprica? I am ready for some more compelling action
Wifey and the kids are holed up in the house today
There is snow everywhere
Yep, even there
I am quite hungry
Getting my interviewin skilz on for next week's 20 Questions Tuesday
Me neither, but it does mean that the questioneers don't have to come up with anything
Yeah, Questioneers, put that in your crack pipe and smoke it
I got fixed and didn't even know I was broken
Listening to a typewriter, oddly enough

20 Questions Tuesday: 157 - Mornings

On this snowy Tuesday it comes to me once again that I need to post this post before it looses its 20 Questions Tuesday moniker. 20 Questions Wednesday just sounds weird.

Anywho.... Since I have been unemployed for the year, I developed some pretty lazy habits. Waking up in the morning was necessary, but mainly just so I could get Little Man to school on time. It did not really require me to completely wake the brain up. Now that I am be-jobbed, I find myself have to do things in the morning.... yuck. Therefore today's topic is "Morning."

Thanks this week go to Nadolny, John P, Lord Pithy, and Some Other Guy

on to the questions!

1. The boring question. How not a morning person are you?
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6 am and 10 would kill you and crawl into you dead husk to sleep 5 more minutes, I would say that I am probably a 6. I am grouchy in the morning.

2. Best thing about mornings?
Breakfast food... if you have time for the good stuff

3. Do you creepily stare at your wife in the monring until she wakes up and screams after seeing you?
No... but maybe I should. That is hilarious.

4. What time is work commencement now? How's the commute time looking?
I should be at work at 8 am. The commute is about 15 miles and I get there in about 20 minutes if it is not snowing like today. Today it took 40 minutes.

5. Drinking Dew in the morning to get ready for work or are you going to be an adult and starting drinking coffee?
If drinking coffee is what defines someone as an adult, I am still a child... and they have a fountain machine here with Mountain Dew.... the habit is worse than ever.

6. Are you or Wifey taking the Little Man to school in the mornings?
Wifey is. Little Man has to be at school at 8:45 in the morning and that is 45 minutes after I got to work.

7. In my honest opinion morning people stink please digress...
The issue with mornings is that morning people are really annoying about them. They wonder why you don't like mornings and they talk about how wonderful mornings are and how you should enjoy them. Do you know what most night owls do? They let morning people sleep and do stuff without bothering them.

8. Are you a "morning person"?
Fuck no.... um I mean, Heck no!

9. Should perky morning people be shot or just beaten into misery like those of us who are night owls?
Beaten into misery.

10. The early bird catches the worm but I want to know who gets the prime rib and fries.
My wife.

11. What is too early in the morning in your opinion?
At the moment 8 am.

12. Do mornings start much worse than with the question, “Guess who?”?
I cannot think of many things that would make a start of a morning worse.

13. Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day, or is it all egg council PR BS?
It can be the tastiest... I understand the sentiment behind the idea. This is the foundational meal of the day. The meal that gives you energy to start things out and it trains the body to not go into a famine mode where it stores everything you eat, however, it is supposed to happen pretty soon after you wake up, and honestly, I have places to be by then.

14. If the sun didn’t come up until between morning and noon, would it be called norning or moon?
I believe it would still be called sunrise.... like it is now.

15. Mourning and morning... homophones for a reason?
Yes, yes they are. Morning causes mourning for many

16. Favorite breakfast food:
French toast with cinnamon in the batter and lightly dusted with powdered sugar before being buttered and syrup-ed. Pair up 3 slices of that with 4 slices of bacon and you have a winner.

17. Morning juice?
I thought we already covered this. My morning juice comes from the Mountain Dew tree... freshly squoze.

18. Do you have any morning rituals?
Aside form hitting the snooze button as much as I can and then racing so I am not late for work... no.

19. What is the worst part of the morning?
The whole.

20. Any nastiness on your morning commute?
No, not really. It is a pretty straight forward shot down a freeway. I am lucky because it is the reverse commute so the traffic is not that bad.

To recap:
Wifey is out of town tonight
The bed-time ritual is difficult solo
Whenever she is out of town, my respect for single parents reaches new highs
I am still gainfully employed
It is week 2
They decided to keep me so far
We will see when it gets to week 3
Gotta chace Q around with a spoon
Listening to Fa Fa Fa by Datarock

20 Questions Tuesday: 156 - First Days...

Well, Tuesday has snuck up on me once again. Eeek, it is late and I have not compiled the answers to the questions I have gotten!

Thanks this week to AllRileyedUp, Belsum, Nadolny, Wifey, and Some Other Guy. The topic is First Day... On to the questions!

1. Do you have an outfit picked out?
Yup. Green casual slacks, brown t-shirt, with a blue Nautica pull-over. I am quite thoughtful. (yes, I said "slacks")

2. Are you looking forward to it or will you miss your free time?
A little of Column A and a little of Column B

3. Did you go out and splurge on a 'i got a new job' dinner celebration?
I bit of one. We tried when I accepted the job, but that fell flat due to what time we went out, and this weekend we went to Outback for some celebrations. The real celebration was when I got home from Day 1 to a wonderfully homemade meal.

4. If JOB was an acronym, what would it stand for?
Just Off Base

5. Even though job and book of 'Job' are pronounced differently, is it someone's idea of a sick joke to have those be the same word?
The almighty Yahweh is quite the jokester.

6. Did you freak out on Little Man’s first day of kindergarten?
Not too much. He had been going to multiple pre-schools, so it wasn't too much of a change. Now, that I am working, though, I am missing him terribly.

7. Do you try to make an impression on your first day of a new job or blend in and get your bearings?
Again, a little of Column A and a little of Column B. I don't want to make waves, but I also want the ladies to notice me.

8. First day as a father: how quickly did you process your new role in life?
I am still processing it. This whole parenthood thing is way more than I could have ever been ready for or able to process.

9. I was shacked up before marriage so there was essentially no change on the first day post wedding. How ‘bout for you?
We too had been quasi-living together, so that aspect of our relationship was not a "new" thing. However, we did consciously decide to be apart for the month prior to marriage. So I moved out of the apartment that she and her mom were in and rented the apartment that she and I would have to begin our lives together.

10. Do you get buyer’s remorse on the first day after a big purchase or does it take a while to set in?
It takes a while.

11. So on your second day, there was a news article on your employers new building in the paper. You weren't in charge of reporting that on day one were you? :)
I was not in charge of that. It was just very fortuitous for me to be there and see the press conference.

12. Describe your first day of school (skip preschool, go directly to Kindergarten, do not pass go, do NOT collect $200)
It was a long time coming. I was able to get away from my emotionally smothering mother...

13. What did you do for your first date with wifey. I know, this is first day, but date starts with day when pronounced phoentically.
Our first official date was at East Side Marios, of which Wifey doesn't quite remember very well, and no, no alcohol was consumed at said date.

14. What happened to those Phoenicians?
Did you see the movie 300? Well prior to getting their asses handed to them in a sling by the Spartans, the Assyrians bitch slapped Phoenicia. (I did not take time to check this, so someone correct me if I am wrong).

15. How many questions did you get for your first day back to the blogaroony?

16. How is this first day of work like the first day of Kindergarten?
Well, no one knows how to play nice and everyone has issues sharing. So I hope we have a good teacher. I miss recess though...

17. Made any new friends?
Well.... I am kind of an island of my own at this place. I don't quite fit in any of the silos that seem to exist in this environment. The workforce there (many of it) are tenured and entrenched in their ways.

18. Was the second day a good day?
Yes and no. In many ways it was very good because I am getting a better picture of what is going on, and bad for the same exact reason... there is just so much going on there that I don't know.

19. Do you need a data phone so you can stay connected with the Internets whilst at work?
You may be on to something.... maybe a Google Phone... Let's be clear, Wifey will get a data phone prior to me.

20. How much effort will it take to make you office area look like it is yours?
A whole bunch. I do not have any walls to speak of and the surfaces that are associated with my 3/4 height cube walls are not conducive to holding things... I need to get a desk-lamp and some books in there to make it my own. Pics of the fam will be nice as well. As it is though, it looks like I am visiting and have just taken over a workstation for a second. I think I will look like I belong there by March.

To recap:
Job is going well
I need to figure out how to fit in
That is on me, not them
I need to mop the kitchen floor before bed tonight
And take out the trash
Wifey has a meeting here tomorrow
It is beyond time that this house looks better
It seems that I was the thing holding it back
I got to work for 2 days and the downstairs is clean
Go figure
Listening to Woman by Wolfmother

20 Questions Tuesday: 155 - Re-Boot/Re-Launch

Well, it has been a bit of a hiatus, and whilst I was not posting many a thing has happened. In fact, I stopped posting because I could not post about what was going on and that was all I could devote any energy to.

I am sure details of the hiatus will come out over time, but for now I will hit the highlight... I was just offered a job and accepted. This happened on Friday January 22, 2010, only 1 day away from my 1 year anniversary of the lay-off from the previous employer. Yeah, ME!

Anyway, I have decided to make this blog pretty much just for 20 Questions Tuesday. I might post some other posts, but I doubt it. I am just not in that space anymore... Also, I have changed my handle from SRH to my more ubiquitous Internet persona of "mmmmmpig." On the Intertubes, I am mmmmmpig, and that is how it should be.

Anywho... some of the questions are about the job sitch and without giving too much information I will answer them to the best of my abilities.

So I have successfully started a reboot and re-launch. Ergo the topic for today of "Re-Boot/Re-Launch." Thanks this week go to Nadolny, John P, Dustin, Sparky, and Capt McArmypants.

On to the questions!
1. In regards to re-boot, I will ask the question on everyones mind. Do you have your shoes re-soled when they wear out or do you buy new ones?
I have never had a sturdy enough pair of shoes to be re-soled. So I get new shoes.

2. So are you still looking in the job market for a graphic oriented job. You know you rock at it!
No, I am not looking for anything full-time in the graphics field anymore.

3. What about part-time graphic work, gonna keep doing that?
Yes, I am really happy with some of the artistic growth that I have had in the past year and I am looking forward to continue that growth. In the past year I have really pushed myself graphically and artistically, and I intend to continue that in the years to come.

4. No word for months and now you expect questions, just like a man! Oh wait, I'm one too. Well, anyway, tell us the updates on the family four.
The family four...
Wifey: She has realized that she really does not want to be the sole bread winner in the family. That being said, her privatye consulting gig has really started to flower.
Little Man: He has been growing like a weed and has started using the dreaded sarcasm that Wifey and I knew would someday be used against us. He also got glasses in November.
Q: Is also growing like a weed. She is just such a vastly different child than Little Man, it is wonder that she is made from the same genetic material.
Me: I gots a job!

5. Tell us what graphic work you have done in the interim, show us what you are allowed.
I did a few illustrations for a local author to be included in his second book. I am working on the colors for a comic book pilot project that another artist I know is looking to shop around to some publishers. Hmmm.... There is the graphic design stuff I have done for Wifey's work as well as some web-site creation for one of her contracts, and a few other small things. I might post some of the work at a later date.

6. With all the problems computers have why don’t they just have a re-boot button instead the ctrl/alt/del combo?
Ctrl/Alt/Del was actually a hack placed into computers by programmers so they did not have to type "break" to stop code compiling or a program from running in DOS. They hard coded the ctrl/alt/del sequence into the keyboard system so it was universal. Initially it was not intended to be used by the common computer user.

7. When did re-boot become a word any way?
Well, it comes from the use of the colloquial usage of "to bootstrap" or start from nothing. You "boot" a computer up, and when you need to re-start you "Re-boot."

8. Your opinion on the re-boot of Tron 2.0.
I am cautiously optimistic, but the issue is that the original Tron, whilst a classic that I can watch over and over and over and over is riddled with incorrect dialog and computer related ideas, so T2on will most likely have very little congruity with the original without significant ret-conning.

9. Re-launching usually include balloons, can I expect to see some balloons?
No balloons this time around.

10. I Was wondering if you could switch my email address for this mailing from my work address that I answer to my home address that I don't?
You would be surprised how many times I get this request when send out my request for questions... anyone up for being added to the list of questioneers?

11a. Please tell us more about the job – what will you do? Where and when will you work?
I will be the Process Improvement Manager for a regional foodbank. It is a 8 to 5 job that will be starting up pretty much as soon as the HR hurdles are done.

11b. 1. WTH does a process improvement manager actually do? If you answer imporve processes, I will find you, yes I will, and when I do, the result will not be pretty, no it won't.
Sadly the gist of the position is to improve the operational processes of how the foodbank does its work. In essence though I am being brought in as a change agent to alter these processes because the organization just moved into a space that is 3 times the previous facility's size and the goal is to double the output of the organization within 5 years. The inventory is switching from paper to paperless, etc...

Basically I am being asked to fins out how to streamline the processes there... I am being asked to put my laziness to use. I am like water, I don't want to work harder than I have to and will therefore find the path of least resistance. I will quantify and qualify that path and spread the genius of my economy of motion to others. So it shall be written. So it shall be done.

12. The chapter that started 1-23-09 is about to close – reflecting back, what did you come away with? Any big discoveries, something you learned about yourself, etc.?
Hmm... that I am willing to reveal on this blog? That is a tall order indeed. I realized that there was a disconnect between my professional self and my private self.

13. Will you brown bag it on your first day of work?
Probably not. I think I might need to use that time as an escape from the overwhelming amount of information that will be heaped upon me.

14. Did you meet any of your new coworkers? First impressions? Surely they’re not as cool as we were, right?
I have met the 2 people I will be reporting to and they seem to have their shit together... in different ways from each other though.

15. What absolutely has to be re-booted before you start your new job?
My hygiene... mmmmmpig smells like a sty. Not having a job for a year will pretty much squelch most good habits including but not limited to bathing.

16. Can they really reboot the A-Team? I mean to make this good you need bad guys to get shot with guns and if you have guns employed in a meaningful manner you don't really have the A-Team. How do we fix this!!!!?
As long as they make a tank like object out of some scrap metal and a bulldozer everything will be all right. There has to be an 80's style construction montage though or it is all for naught.

17. How did they make the new GI Joe movie so terrible? I mean all I ask is for 10 GI Joe members with names I have heard of to infiltrate a base full of bad guys dressed in blue and blow it up. In stead I get multiple cases of memory loss, a mute with lips on his mask and flash backs to the 1500's?
This isn't a question this is a universal truth. That is why I like the cartoon version of "G.I.Joe Resolute" better.

18. Is there anything short of the grave that would prevent you from seeing the upcoming "The Last Starfighter" remake?
Not sure that one is going to get the green-light. Everything about it is coming up only as rumors that have not been updated since 2009 Q1. I will not have to worry about moving heaven and earth to watch this one.

19. Which do you find more pretentious? When people have stated they are "re-inventing" themselves more than once. OR When a meeting is held to discuss a "rebranding" effort........ ever?
Dude, um... I just re-branded my blog and re-invented myself professionally, is there something you are trying to say? Are you saying that I am pretentious? Well, I never! Good Day, Sir! I said GOOOD DAY!

20. Have you noticed that almost everything that has come out as a movie or TV show in the last 10 years has already been done better about 15 years ago (Except for that new Star Trek) and isn't it odd that we are the first generation to ever experience this feeling?
I am sure people felt the same way when posers started trying to do Shakespeare knock-offs at the Globe V2.0 in 1626 tens years after the bard's death.

To recap:
It feels good to be back
I have been itching to get back to this blog for about 2 weeks now
But I had to wait until the job stuff was confirm-able because I did not want to speak out of turn
I am now on Twitter, look for me as @mmmmmpig
I am going to do my best to interview some people I don't know for this blog as well as some people I only kind of know
I figure once a month there should be an interview of some kind
If anyone wants to step up and interview me, please feel free
Now I need to format this post so that it is ready before Wednesday!
EEeeek it is almost Wednesday
Listening to M79 by Vampire Weekend

20 Questions Tuesday: 154 - Breakfast Part 1

It is Tuesdy again and that means I am answering questions. This week, I guess the topic resonated with people much better because I got tons of questions to choose from. So many, in fact, that I am extending this topic to next week as well. I know. we haven't had a 2 parter in a while.

Anywho, the topic this week is Breakfast!. Thanks this week go to Lord Pithy, TheMikeStand, Lsig, Guido, and Dr B-Dawg. But before I get into the 20 questions I will answer one of the two questions that seemed to be on nearly all 10 people who asked questions list (I will answer the other one next week):

Pizza for breakfast: cold or warmed up?
Well, that is an easy one. Pizza is best cold for breakfast. I highly suggest the left-over Mama Mimi's Mama's Favorite Chicken. The only issue I seem to run into with that selection for morning victuals, is that one cannot eat the whole pizza the night before. That is difficult to say the least.

On to the rest of the questions!

1. What else isn’t just for breakfast anymore?
Ummm... sausage links?

2. Fill in the blank: “A day without __ is like a day without sunshine.”

3. Worst breakfast conversation you ever had?
It was when I was 12 and in Manchester, England for 2 weeks. The "breakfast" that was served to us at the soccer camp was a coffee cake. Now in the States that means a sweet cake that has brown sugar, lots of butter and usually some kind of walnut on top. In Manchester it was a cake with coffee grounds in it. The conversation was with the locals about how happy they were about etting "coffee cake" and then biting into a bitter nasty dry cake.

4. Worst breakfast conversation Howdy Doody ever had?
The one where Bozo the Clown mooned him.

5. How many "breakfast" meals does your family eat outside of breakfast hours (excluding "brunch"), and what are those meals?
We have "breakfast for dinner" every once in a while. That meal consists of sausage and banana nut (when nut allergies are not present) pancakes. Quite tasty and a nice departure from the typical dinner fare.

6. Who, if anyone in your family, wakes up and immediately wants breakfast? (Mountain Dew does not count.)
I try and save my Mt Dew for lunches now. Small victories... Anyway, Little Man is the one who wakes up ravenous. I think it has something to do with his insane metabolism and the tapeworm that he must have.

7. What was your favourite breakfast cereal or food when you were growing up?
I love French toast, as a kid and now, but it is nearly impossible to do without egg. Once Q grows out of that allergy though, I think it might be on the breakfast menu again.

8. Does your family do "sugar cereals"? My impulse buy of Apple Jacks yesterday was met with both joy and derision in my household. Some people need to chill out and let daddy and his boys enjoy some Apple Jacks.
Here is an odd thing about multiple food allergies. Since Little Man was allergic to so many things, when we found anything (and I do mean anything) that he could have (dairy-free, egg-free, and soy-free) we fed it to him. Here s the odd part. Good for you cereals use good for you ingredients including airy for calcium, soy for heart health, but rarely egg. So, what we had left to feed him was the crap sugar cereals. So, in short, yes we "do" sugar cereals, because they helped Little Man survive.

9. Is Wheaties the breakfast of all champions, or just Bruce Jenner?
Just Bruce Jenner, and I am pretty sure he is no longer considered a "champion" of life.

10. What is the best time to eat breakfast, and what do your kids eat for breakfast?
I like breakfast at around 9 am.., and the kids eat around 8 a.m.

11. How long must you go without eating to qualify as a "fast"?
I guess around 6 hours at a minimum if that is what "Breakfast" is all about.

12. Why are pancakes considered a breakfast food? Shouldn't they be dessert?
Nope, sugar is an accepted part of the breakfast time options.

13. Why does IHOP always ask if you want hot syrup, then bring it out 10 minutes before the pancakes arrive, thus rendering it "cool" syrup?
Maybe they should rebrand and call it "tepid syrup."

14. Breakfast can be eaten any time of day (breakfast, lunch or dinner). Why is it so doggone versatile vs. other meal categories?
Because it is typically easier to throw together and usually tastier.

15. Do you drink coffee? If so, how do you like it?
Nope, I like it far away from me.

16. Is breakfast one of the three most underrated meals of the day?

17. Are you more of a sugary or meaty breakfast?
Hmmm... depends on the day. sometimes the right balance of sugar to meat needs to be made. Syrup up those sausages, man!

18. Coffee or tea for morning jolt?

19. Are fruits part of the breakfast start?
They can be. When strawberries are ion season, they can be a nice little morning addition, but in general, no.

20. What is little man's favorite cereal?
He has three favorites that he east as breakfast food and one that is an anytime snack of champions. The three he cycles through are Cap'n Crunch, Frosted Flakes, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The anytime snack is Cracklin Oat Bran... looks like catfood, but tastes like heaven.

To Recap:
The kids are all feeling better
Kick Ass!
Now I am behind on everything that I had to neglect whilst taking care of the ill little ones
I have so much crap to do
And now I have so little time to do it
I have 4.5 illustration left for a client
I have a bunch of web stuff for another client
Now I need to button down and do it!
In fact, now I have to get drawing some more
Right now
In fact, I am not going to link anything this time
I am a busy man, Damnit!
Especially before the family shows up on Monday
Listening to the constant annoying humm of the baby monitor

20 Questions Tuesday: 153 - Illness

Here we are on Tuesday once again. Since this week has been replete with hacking and coughing of a 6 year old and a 17 month old. Oooh it has been lovely.

Anywho... Thanks this week to Sparky and Some Other Guy. With only 2 respondents, there are only 10 questions, but... on to the Questions!

1. When you were a kid, what was the standard ritual when you were sick?
nope. I really liked to be on my own convalescing as best as I could.

2. Who is more illin' - LL Cool J or Eddie Vedder? More a question for Wifey, really. Grr baby, grrr!
LL Cool J. Even though he is hatless on NCIS: LA, he is still yummy... ummmm... at least that's what Wifey says.

3. Finish this sentence please, SRH - "I got the fever for the flavor of....."
Pringles... most definitely Pringles, but I miss the White Cheddar Pringles.... mmmmmmmm

4. Diagnosis - stress. Remedy, dear Dr. SRH?
Mt Dew, Baby!

5. What's your drug of choice?
Mt Dew, Baby!

6. Any yarf?
Yeppers. Saturday night Little Man was coughing so much that he spewed up some stuff. It was lovely, and oddly tainted of root beer.

7. So what was the ailment?
Looks like it is just an annoying virus. Little Man had a fever for a few days and then coughed himself silly Sunday night and monday until we Niqylled his ass. Q had a low fever anf has just been ejecting massive amounts of phlegm. Really quite lovely.

8. Any differences in how you deal with illness vs how Wifey deals with it?
I am a loner. I want to be by myself and left alone until I come up for air and feel better. She wants to be held and rocked until she is doing better. Sometimes our convalescence (if simultaneous) can be counter-productive.

9. You be illin?
Stone cold illin, or should it be illin like a villain, or maybe ill illin'

10. How much laundry do you go through during a kid sickness event?
Ummm... We should go through waaaay more than we do.

To Recap:
Uh... I have some laundry to do
Little Man is going back to school tomorrow
No more coughing for the little guy
Q's nose is still running but it is clear
Listening to Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe on the television
I am falling behind on NaNoWriMo
maybe I can make up the gap a bit tomorrow evening and Thursday

20 Questions Tuesday: 152 - Myths and Legends

Here it is Tuesday and the wee ones are feeling better. Yeah, Wee ones! So I get to use the awesome topic of Myths and Legends... mmmm tasty topic!

Thanks this week to ACW, lsig, John P, Nadolny, and Capt McArmypants. On to the questions!

1. Confirm or deny the myth about achieving a ‘balance in life’ and, considering we are fickle human beings, has anyone really attained this?
No one has truly attained this, but its exitence has to be taken on pure faith, but more than faith it has to be taken on Hope!

2. Vampires and werewolves??
I will alter that a little bit, vampires vs. werewolves

3. Yetis??

4. Four-day work week?
That is neither myth nor legend. That, kind sir, is a lie.

5. Name that mythology movie: "Hear me, vain and foolish mortal woman! You dare compare your daughter's beauty to mine, and in my own sacred santuary? You will regret your boast." (Hint: Ask Wifey if you don't know.)
No need to ask Wifey, Clash of the Titans. Harry Hamlin never looked so good.

6. What do you consider the best modern myth/legend adaptation?
I love the 13th Warrior.

7. How do you define the difference between a myth and a legend?
Okay, here is how I see it. Myths have to do with parable stories that have to do with long dead religions. Hero and Leadner, while not part of the Greek pantheon of Gods, still illustrate some aspect of Greek religious ideal. Same with the Norse and Celtic mythologies.

Now Legends are tales that come from antiquity or the long past where people have done something that is not necessarily truly humanly possible. Think, in Americana, Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill, and John Henry all did things that truly seem super-human, but they do not have a parable quality where they are attempting to teach some aspect of correct living in regards to a long dead religion.

8. How does one become a living legend?
Duh, do something legendary.

9. I say vampire bears are mythical creatures and do not really exist agree/disagree?
I say, ignore their existence at your own peril.

10. Are legendary moments in sports as common as people claim? I think it is overused now. Jesse Owens yes, your favorite wide receivers 4th quarter catch not so much.
The whole concept of sports legends are over done. No one else has _____ legends. There are no database management legends or cashier legends, why the sports bias?

11. What is your favorite Columbus, Ohio myth/legend? Mine is the jealous ghost of Mary Todd Lincoln down at the Statehouse, and how could anyone be jealous enough of Abe to become a ghost? He was an ugly dude.
I don't know many Ohio ghost stories. I grew up in Alabama where there was a weird little ghost story aboyut some kid named Jefferey. Anyhoo... Lincoln was ugly, but hung like a horse.

12. When does someone move form mythical to legendary status?
I think the shift is from legendary to mythical. The shift happens when the real story has been blown so far out of proportion that it no longer seems that a mere mortal could have accomplished the tale. That is more of a modern interpretation though. In reality i think it has to do with the definitions I answered in question 7.

13. What is your favorite Halloween myth/legend costume?
Hmmm... the Samhain costume where the kid goes all out and actually wears a pumpkin on their head.

14. What do you think will be the most popular myth/legend costume this year, discounting the freakin balloon boy BS.
Vampires, they are the easiest and right now they are the equivalent of what unicorns and rainbows were for 13 year old girls in 1984.

15. So how did the Norse buy off on the Cower Udder theory?
It is clear that they completely tacked this on to their mythology because it is so poorly thought out compared to how Ragnorok unfolds. They really thought out how all the Aesir would go down taking out the giants. There was tension and good story pacing. I am sure they laid out this story of the end of the world and some pencil-necked geek bard asked, "ummm... so how was the world made?" Uh... ummm.. milk from a cosmic cow udder, let's get back to Tyre fighting the Fenris Wolf!

16. So in the 12 labors of Hercules, why would you ask him to clean the stables? I mean at that time 2/3 of the work force were eminently, and often solely, qualified to clean stables. You are going to waste once of the 4 guys capable of killing a hydra on Stables? Why not have him walk around Target with that cane with the tennis ball on the end of it and buff out out the shoe skid marks? I mean even if you got nothing else you have to know at least 12 people you would like to see get their asses kicked in an amusing fashion?
I am not sure where the question is in all of that.

17. How come the guy who made such great stables that they could withstand a river running though them didn't get his own myth for time immemorial? I mean why no love for what was clearly the greatest Brick Fitter in the history ... and pre-history, of mankind? ...wait
I think you answered your question with your question.

18. So how do you think he would stack up against Zack Zack the Lego Maniac the only other Blocky-Fitty-legend-guy?
I think, since interlocking blocks did not really come into their own until the 1970's, I would go with, lets call him Stableocleles. But truth be told, I think Machu Pichu Mel has both Zack Zack the Lego Maniac and Stableocleles.

19. Ok not really from the myth, but in "Clash of the Titans:" 1. Super Cutting Sword that slices through stone, CHECK 2. Magical Helmet that renders its wearer invisible, CHECK 3. Voice activated Mechanical Bird with artificial intelligence, self repair capabilities, and seemingly endless power supply, named Bubo, CHECK. 4. Fairly well polished Shield...... uh...CHECK? So which of these does not belong in the "pantheon" of godly gift giving?
Dude, it was shiny!

20. "Legends of the Fall?"

To recap:
The whole family is well now
Little Man and Q both got their first course of H1N1
That was a traffic jammy mad-house
Man, I need to clean the house
I think there is something wrong with my path
It seems swampy and all mucked up
Listening to the Fresh Beats Band from the DVR
Q loves her some Fresh Beats
Have a great weekend everyone