Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"Children of Men."

I just returned from this movie and am at a bit of a loss for words. But I'll try.


Those two words encompass much of what I have to say about the movie. You can read a plot summary anywhere so instead I'll tell you how I felt - in the first few seconds of the movie, while there is only narration before the picture appears on the screen, my stomach tied in a knot. A minute or so later, that knot clenched tighter, and it remained that way for the hour and fifty-minute running time.

Make no mistake - this movie is absolutely brilliant. I'm at a loss for words again, so just get yourself to the movies tomorrow if you can, because it's leaving theaters around here on Friday. If you have to wait for DVD, so be it, but give the big screen a shot if you can. You'll regret it if you don't.

Future CEO.

Yes, that's Mrs. Badger with the prototype F-35, which costs more than all of our salaries combined for a few hundred lifetimes. You have to have some clout to get a picture with this! AWESOME!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Wit Winner of the Day.

From, talking about one fan watching the Australian Open final:

"One fan waved a sign that proclaimed "Federer is betterer," and the Swiss star backed it up."

I can't top that. Maybe I'll think of something later.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Roddick's Press Conference.

I found a link on YouTube - entertaining stuff. You have to give credit to Roddick for the attitude as well - not too much boo-hoo, but lots of emphasis on continuing to work hard and keep trying. And I'll reiterate like I've told my tennis buddies - if Roddick is on and Federer is a little off, I think Andy takes him.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

It's Not Arrogance When It's True.

A lot of people complain that Roger Federer is arrogant. Have these people seen Federer play tennis? I doubt it. Because if they had, they would witness absolute domination, which is of course followed by gems like this:

""This was definitely one of my best matches I ever played," said Federer, who is seeking his 10th major title. "I had one of these days when everything just worked, I was unbeatable. It's just unreal. I was playing out of my mind. I am shocked myself.
"The tournament is not even over yet, so let's not get carried away. Let me do it one more time.""

From this article.

God, I love that last line. "Hey guys, it's all good. Do I have your permission to unleash one more beat-down in this tournament?"

Finally, you have to love Roddick's post-match comments, which speak for themselves (source):

"Even in defeat, Roddick has a hell of a sense of humor. His postmortem was one for the ages. Among the highlights. "It was frustrating. It sucked. It was terrible. Besides that, it was fine." How will he sleep tonight? "It depends on how much I drink." Roddick was told that he had performed better in the news conference than on the court. His reponse: "No s---.""

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Dump and Jump.

This post is not for the faint of heart.
I see this atrocity at least a couple times per day.
1. Perpetrator unleashes a fierce atrocity upon the waterworks.

2. Perpetrator jumps off the toilet seat, heading in the direction of the exit.

2a. Occasionally perpetrator will stop by a faucet, touch both knobs, splash water on his hands for 1 second, then turn off the faucets, merely spreading his filth more thoroughly.

3. You know what's next (cover your eyes, children):

...And this is why I usually attempt to secure a paper towel of some sort to bust my way out of a public restroom that has a "pull" door on the way out.

House Update.

So apparently owning a house really is a lot of work. The story of the week, though, is power consumption. I’m not a well-versed expert in Kilowatt-hours (kWhrs). Who’d have thought?

A few days ago, Monika and I received a bill for $50 – for FOUR days worth of power consumption; from 1/15-1/18 we used 370 kWhrs of power, apparently. This raised a red flag. I went outside to check the meter, which told me we’d used another 350 kWhrs the next four days. So the initial reading obviously wasn’t that crazy. Of course, you can project this out to 2500 kWhr months and massive electric bills on the order of $500+. I know come summertime it’ll be brutal, but the winter months? Come on!

To save time and not bore you all to death, here is the gist of what I have learned:

-The last ten days in DFW was a serious anomaly, with temperatures that just went above freezing for the high.

-We have a heat pump system, all-electric, which is more efficient in cold weather than “really cold” weather, where it has to go into “auxiliary mode” and uses a shitload of power.

-I verified yesterday, with temperatures from 30-45, our power consumption was more “normal,” around 50 kWhrs over the course of the day, which is what I expect when it’s that cold outside.

-My coworkers claim that 65 inside the house is “comfortable” and “you get used to it.” So that’s how people keep their power bill low.

Final thought of the day – yesterday I went to Lowe’s and Home Depot to find a one-sided deadbolt…the kind of deadbolt I’ve had in every single place I’ve lived! You bolt it from the inside, but there is nothing on the outside of the door. Well, apparently these things are incredibly rare and you have to special order them to obtain them. What the hell? I can special order them from Lowe’s with a 5 business day lag period, which doesn’t do me much good since I have a locksmith coming today. However, the locksmith might have something acceptable since all they sell are locks, but it remains to be seen how heinous their markup will be. I’ll keep you all updated.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Football Yesterday.

I typically don't watch pro football - I'm a massive fairweather fan, and I like the commercials during the Superbowl. I've always rationalized this by the fact that I get so deep into college football that it's simply too much stress to give the same amount of energy toward pro football. But now the TV is hooked up with HD, and yesterday I bought a decent home theater system to accompany it, so I just couldn't resist. Mmm...HD.

Bears/Saints: I thought the Saints were going to come back and steamroll after Bush's long catch/run. I was massively surprised at the final outcome of that game, but you just can't argue with the Bears' defense - impressive. I hope Bush feels like an idiot for those theatrics after his touchdown, and how was that not a freaking flag? He taunted them on his way in, he flipped over the goal line, then did a little "jig." Hey Reggie - nice dance - you guys got your ass kicked.

Colts/Patriots: I actually turned to a different channel for a period of time because the Colts were getting thrashed so soundly. I was obviously surprised when I came back a bit later. Although I wasn't necessarily rooting for the Colts, you had to find the tenacity impressive. Even after the fact, I'm not sure I would have been satisfied with either team winning - on one hand you have the Patriots, the penultimate champions, who just have that "it" factor that can take them to victory - the smart coach, the stud quarterback that you just have to love, and the team that's incredibly well-rounded so you don't have to deal with the noise of a superstar like T.O. But then, they are always winning that pesky Superbowl game, aren't they? And Peyton Manning, who comes across as annoying most of the time, really is a sound technical quarterback that deserves a shot at a title, don't you think? It's hard to say.

Anyway, the Superbowl will be an interesting game. To a some extent I think the "worse" team from both conferences are playing, but if they really were the inferior team they wouldn't be where they are today.

I think the fate of the Superbowl lies directly on the Bears. Their D should be stout no matter what, but will give up at least a couple touchdowns to the Colts regardless. The question is what kind of productivity Grossman can conjure. If he's on his game, the Bears run away with it. If he's not, they get pounded. How that for indecisiveness? :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007


When I read things like this, I just can't help but wonder what the hell is wrong with people. If you're going to tote around a bottle of water containing some mysterious substance, WHY, of all places, would you do it at a freaking airport?!?!?!? Who knew they heavily scrutinize the things you're carrying around with you at an airport? Dumbass.

Michael Vick should give me a few of his pile of millions, and in return I'll give him easy advice on things such as "how not to break the law." It'll be cheaper for him to pay me than all the lawyers and PR reps he's going to have to pay to clear his name. This same offer goes out to all moronic professional athletes and entertainers - my rates are cheap!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Winter Wonderland.

I can’t knock the local weathermen too much, because as I’ve recently mentioned, they have been shockingly accurate over the last few months. This morning was a major exception. I awoke to a city covered in snow. I took some pictures which I’ll post later. (Side-note: computers at our house are still not up and running – i.e. no internet. This means I can’t check any of my e-mail accounts other than work e-mail at the moment)

After flipping on the news to see that every school in the vicinity is closed and every sane person is staying home for the day, I called the company’s information line to hear the inevitable “all facilities are open for business” line which meant I’d have to use vacation to avoid work today, which is incredibly annoying since I’d like to take a “real” vacation at some point this year instead of using vacation to avoid death.

Of course, those are the breaks. In the meantime, I hope you all are warmer than I am.

Monday, January 15, 2007


-The move is complete. We are now sleeping in the house and all our stuff has moved from point A to point B. Shunning repeated declarations that we’d be living out of boxes for a few months, almost everything is unpacked. The only boxed-zone is the study, which is going to take a lot of time since we need shelf space. In the apartment, we had two built-in bookshelves and a desk hutch we populated with books, pictures, and the like. The house has none of that (we aren’t using aforementioned desk any more). We need to make a trip to the furniture store to find some reasonably priced bookshelves before we can organize the study.

Additionally, the master bedroom is unpacked, but in a bit of disarray. Long story short – we’re waiting on availability for the bedroom set we want. The damn things are just sold out everywhere.

-My TV rules. Yesterday I bought a stand and a good over-the-air antenna and hooked everything up. Lo and behold, I now have beautiful HD TV for FREE. It’s a shame that Food Network and ESPN aren’t broadcast over the air, because otherwise we wouldn’t need to pay the hefty monthly fees for cable or satellite.

-24 rules. I avoided the show like the plague as it gained momentum because I was in school and knew I didn’t have the time. All bets are off now. I enjoyed last night’s two-hour premier as I will tonight. And every Sunday. We still need a DVR, though. This “advertisements” nonsense between my TV show is annoying.

-It’s massively cold outside. The roads are iced over, but nevertheless we had to come into work. It took an hour and a half to get in today.

-Houses are expensive – I can see your utter lack of surprise from here. But seriously – who’d have thought how much various bobbles and bolt-ons would cost? I went to Lowe’s in search of a towel hook and found they were all $15! Of course, this was before Monika chastised me (rightly so) and pointed out that I was looking in the bathroom décor aisle – the hooks we needed were actually in the hardware aisle. I exchanged two $15 hooks for one $3 double-hook. Nice.

-I got a garage door opener from my parents-in-law for my birthday, which will hopefully be installed ASAP (Wednesday at the latest, but there might be an opening today). It’s pretty annoying to manually open the garage, pull out the car, hop out, close the garage door, lock the garage entry door, go through the front door, lock the front door, and return to the car. You got tired just reading that. Now imagine doing it about 4,000 times per day. Either way, it’s still SO much better than parking outside that I’d take the garage-shake-up option any day.

-I’ll keep you all updated!

Friday, January 12, 2007


I'll try to make a decent post again soon. Sorry for the tumbleweeds.

Monday, January 08, 2007

What It's Like Getting a New House.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

House Update.

As you all know, Monika and I are in the process of getting a house, which of course, means that my life has been virtually all-consumed by the transaction. The latest time-waster has been the dishwasher, but first, I should point out that we decided to purchase and install the dishwasher and stove ourselves. The builder would have installed those appliances for us, but the models they planned to install were basic, as in the-bottom-of-the-barrel-basic. Those of you that are aware of Monika's baking prowess know that she deserves a fine convection oven, so that's what we got. We also bought a dishwasher that will actually wash theory.

Said dishwasher was delivered on Thursday and yesterday the installer came out to put it in. Of course, he mentions right off the bat that Sears didn't sell us the proper hardware needed to install a dishwasher in a house that's never had one - i.e. the water line. No big deal - I drove with the installer to Lowe's and we got the proper hardware. Back to the house, he hooked up the dishwasher under my casual/careful eye and voila, it just doesn't work. Since we got a fancy-pants dishwasher instead of a turn-the-knob-and-go dishwasher, this means that the LED panel simply goes berserk and pushing any of the buttons is greeted with a "yeah, right." Sometimes a light will turn on next to the button, sometimes a different light will turn on. So I called Sears while the installer was actually still in the house. No big whoop - call a tech and they'll come check it. This morning I waited 4 hours for the tech (at least I got quality reading time) and he came out to verify that yes, the dishwasher doesn't work. There was curiously some drops of water inside the electronics panel, and it doesn't take a BS in electrical engineering to tell me that will seriously screw up the controls. So now someone is going to come out on Tuesday to remove the current dishwasher and install a new one. Hopefully that one will work.

And on a much better note, YAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!! Monika got me a surprise TV for my birthday!! I won't get into the details of how intricate her sneaky web was to make this happen, just know that I was completely shocked. I walked with her into the house yesterday and this bad-boy was sitting in the corner where we are going to put it in the house!!!

It's a 46" Samsung DLP "SLIM" TV. It's only 10" deep although it's rear-projection. The facade nicely matches the aforementioned appliances we got for the house, which will hopefully all be functioning within the next few days. We close on the house Wednesday!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Depressing Article of the Day.

The demise of the CD is discussed. Precious, precious keyboard is too wet from tears of sorrow just thinking about CDs ceasing to exist that I can't type any more.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Comparison: Wilson Hyper Pro Staff 6.1 vs. nSix-One.

I've been playing with the Hyper Pro Staff 6.1 (H61) for over 5 years now, so most of my frames are pretty beaten up. So, for Christmas, I asked for the new version of my racket, the nSix-One (N61), which is essentially the same racket with updated "nanotechnology," whatever that means. I'm not here to dissect the technology, but to comment on the difference in feel I noticed.

I have both rackets with 16x18 string patterns, 4 1/2 grips (with one Tournagrip on top), Prince Polygut 17 mains and Wilson Extreme Synthetic Gut 16 crosses strung at about 64 lbs (damn inaccurate drop-weight stringer!).

The shape, weight, and balance between the rackets are indistinguishable, regardless of what the specs say. The grip on the N61 is slightly larger in circumference than the H61 although both are 4 1/2s; that is most likely attributed to the N61 having a slightly fatter, updated grip that comes with the racket. The most important part, the swing feel, is better with the N61. Sweet-spot hits are rewarded with a more solid "thock" with the N61 than the H61. This gives the perception that the N61 is a slightly more powerful racket, although that probably does not translate to reality. Off-center hits are slightly more forgiving with the N61.

All-in the N61 is what I expected as an "evolution" of the H61. The racket is improved and different enough that I'll have to replace all my H61 frames eventually, but the H61 is still similar enough to keep as an emergency backup-backup-backup racket.

In case you're looking for N61s, Sports Authority currently has them for $160, and I've never seen them cheaper than $180 anywhere else. That pesky Roger Federer has become pretty famous over the last few years, so the recreational racket most closely associated with him never goes on sale any more (you can buy the nTour in stores, but that racket isn't a very wise choice for anyone but The Fed).