Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

The sky is taking a big dump here in DFW. It's rained for the last 5 days or so, and the forecast calls for "Rain - FOREVER."


Thursday, May 24, 2007

More Crazy Ruminations on LOST.

First, my dream last night – I must have taken Ben’s comment about how everyone will die if they make the phone call a bit too literally. I dreamt that the group was waiting in the area where the Others’ houses were to be rescued, and they become elated as they hear the sound of a helicopter approaching. As the helicopter comes over the horizon, it is a large Apache-style copter, and something feels wrong about the situation. Suddenly the two turret-style guns on either side of the copter start blazing, mowing down everyone. The copter literally chased each person it could see. Apparently I was a Lostie in this dream. I hid behind a house as the copter continued its rampage, but it was like the copter could smell me, and we played-cat-and-mouse around the house until it was sufficiently satisfied that it had taken everyone out of commission. Finally, the copter parked in the garage of the house (don’t ask me how that would be possible!). In sequence, an army of “bad guys” got out of the copter, wearing smug expressions of satisfaction that they’d found the “magic” island. They spread out to survey the land. At this point, I’m thinking since the copter is parked in the garage and unoccupied, I’m getting the hell out of dodge. I sneak through the house and enter the garage through the house. I climb in the copter and fire it up. Of course, in short order the baddies realize what I’m doing and start running back toward me. I have to fire up the guns and mow down a few of them to make it out of the garage. As I rise up above the village and come to the top of the tree-line I come upon a startling revelation – the Losties that had been killed by the copter just minutes earlier had vanished from the ground, then fallen from the sky and landed in the trees above the village, and were calling out to me to pick them up before I left…

After the season finale last night the pondering began. What does it all mean? What the hell is his island, but more importantly, why can’t anyone just say what they know? Ben, for example: “don’t do it, Jack, or everyone will die.” Why can’t he just say “I know that everyone will die if you do this because a spirit told me so.” Even if Jack doesn’t believe him, Ben would have at least provided some level of information – believe it or not, but I’m telling you why, which is the only thing that matters.

Then I started thinking about the motivations of the characters on the show and came upon a new revelation, which I haven’t read anywhere else before so here goes: LOST is the name of this show, which presumably implies that the Losties have no idea where they are – it’s a physical location which eludes everyone. However, when I see “LOST” now I’ve changed my tune after the finale – the title of the show represents not a place, but a mentality. You can individually dissect each character in the show based on the concept of LOST and one other important element. The island isn’t important insofar as where it is and what it’s magic properties are, per se, but that the island represents a method for lost people to find meaning in their lives. Let’s talk about a few characters.

Jack – he needs to save people. When his wife divorces him and his father passes away, he’s lost the will to live because his life means nothing to him. Suddenly he crashes on an island in the middle of nowhere and everyone looks to him for guidance. On the island, Jack finds purpose in his life – to help, heal, and guide people. To be a leader. However, off the island, in the future, Jack has lost himself again. He’s one of the few Losties that actually realizes he doesn’t want to be rescued, because the unique properties of the island fuel that need for him to be constantly challenged to help others, than even life as a doctor cannot satiate.

Shannon & Boone – both of them were self-absorbed and spoiled. They come to the island and come to terms with their true selves – Boone admits to loving his sister and Shannon becomes helpful by translating the French distress call. Shannon also falls for Sayid, not the type of rich pretty-boy she probably would have preferred in the past. That was their role to fulfill in this world, to come to acceptance of who they are and shun their superficiality. Their overcoming of those barriers put them in a place where they could pass away having found their meaning. Note that last night when I told Monika this theory, she raised the "BS Flag" on Nikkie and Paulo - why did they die? Perhaps the island also passes judgement on those who are truly not good people. If they cannot find real meaning in such a magical place, they get the axe (or, sand in this case).

Locke – he had a terrible relationship with his father that spiraled out of control to yield a crippled man who still held the belief that he could do anything. The reality of a broken spine prevented him from realizing his true desires in “the real world.” Upon reaching the island, Locke can miraculously walk again, and feels a bond with the island that gives him purpose in life. Locke will not leave the island because the island is the very source of meaning for his life.

I don’t want to get too redundant here, but there isn’t a character that comes to mind for which I can’t form this general argument: the people who crashed from Oceanic 815 and survived were all somehow incomplete in their own unique way. The island gave each of them the opportunity to find meaning in their lives, by giving them the opportunity for leadership, sacrifice, to express their true feelings, or giving their bodies a second chance (not just Locke, but Jin with the sperm-count). Upon experiencing these revelations, some are ready to leave the island and some are not. Claire, Bernard & Rose, Jin & Sun, etc. are all ready to leave the island. They will return to the “real world” and be at peace with who they are and embrace the experience they had. Jack, Kate, and Sawyer think they want to leave the island but they really don’t, although afterward Kate and Sawyer come to accept it while Jack enters a drug-induced depression. Characters like Locke and Hurley experience meaning in their lives because of the island, and won’t ever want to leave. Over the course of the remaining episodes we’ll find out who really wants to leave, who thinks they want to leave, who wants to stay. We’ll find out if those that “should” have left flourish with their new found understanding of their lives and if those that didn’t leave continue to find meaning from living on the island. Of course, the most interesting cases will be those, like Jack, who felt a burning desire to leave, only to find that it wasn’t what they really wanted. Can he find his way back?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Miles is okay, for those of you wondering. :)

Monika took Miles to the vet yesterday for piece of mind. He recommended we continue with the washing and Neosporin we'd be doing. Afterward Monika and Miles went to Petsmart so puppy could pick out a new toy. When I arrived home from work today, the living room was covered in stuffing, and I have to say, I was pretty happy to see it!

Monday, May 21, 2007

I Don’t Like Pit Bulls.

Or, The Graduate Part II.

Yesterday I ended the prior post due to a need to hop on the airplane. A few minutes before it was time to board, Monika (or Mrs. Badger) noticed that she had missed a couple calls on her phone from a number she didn’t recognize. They turned out to be from the kennel where Miles, our puppy, was staying. Long story short: Miles was attacked by a Pit Bull last Thursday. Due to a series of odd semantics that I don’t necessarily agree with, they didn’t tell us ‘till Sunday, which is frustrating. So, the flight home yesterday became the “we hope our puppy is okay” flight. When we got to the kennel, poor Miles looked really tired but perked up when I called him. I was happy to see that he recognized my voice! Poor little Miles (er…86 lbs as of last week, but still “little” to us).

Bottom line – he’ll be okay. We’re going to take him to the vet anyway to see what they say, and the kennel gave us his stay for free and told us they’d cover the vet bills. At the end of the day, I don’t harbor ill will toward the kennel per se, but obviously they should have kept the freaking Pit Bull away from other dogs. If we had to take Miles to a kennel again, I wouldn’t avoid this one, but obviously I hope we never have to do so! It just so happened that for this trip, everyone we would have left him with was also on the trip.

Here is Miles’ battle wound which the vet will look at in a couple hours:

//Edit: Blogger's "add image" button isn't working. Annoying! I'll try again later.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Graduate.

This weekend I graduated from Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business. I now officially have an MBA, although I finished classes about 7 months ago. So now I'm tired, happy, and sitting in the airport with my wife and my huge diploma next to me. Here's a brief chronicle of events:

Thursday - arrived in Pittsburgh only slightly late. No trip to this place is without some capacity of airport drama. At least my luggage wasn't lost this time - the plane was delayed by about 20 minutes due to nose landing gear "issues," which were solved by "routine maintenance." When we arrived in Pittsburgh, we were fortunate to land almost simultaneously with my parents, who were in the process of getting a rental car. Woohoo! - no cab or shuttle fare for us. We made the half-hour trek to the all-too-familiar Residence Inn on Bigelow Blvd, tossed our things in the room, and landed at Joe Mama's for dinner because my parents were in the mood for Italian food. The place took its time getting our food to us, but it was downright delicious. Seriously, everyone's meal was a knockout. I ended up taking half my linguine with chicken, artichoke, and a lemon creme sauce back to the hotel because Mrs. Badger's pizza was so delicious I had to finish it off first, thinking my food would keep better. On a side-note, I didn't end up finishing my pasta later because I was told I had the breath from hell for the next 14 hours. Lemon, artichoke, chicken, mushroom - a molotov cocktail for the breath from hell?

Friday - I woke up and went straight to the workout room at the hotel. This was a good idea since I probably ingested something on the order of 4,000 calories per day while I was here. For lunch on Friday, I was picked up by the coolest Madman in Pittsburgh and sought out some fine spicy Parmesan chicken wings and enjoyed typically riveting conversation. Afterward it was onto the CMU bookstore, where I picked up a shirt, cap, and indecision as to which diploma frame I wanted. Friday night was the arrival of the three-years-in-the-waiting trip to Monterrey Bay for myself and my "exactly one guest" (inside joke/annoyance) Mrs. Badger. The dinner was delicious as expected. Afterward one baby-less couple insisted on going out, which we weren't originally planning to do until Saturday night, but decided "why not?" We went to Doc's on Shadyside and our group consumed no less than 15 pitchers of Pittsburgh's Yuengling beer. I'll get some pictures up later.

Saturday - Still drinking. Ha! Er, we got back around 2 and I stayed up drank no less than 10 cups of water, knowing I'd really regret it in the morning if I didn't. When I woke up, I felt like ass anyway but went to the exercise room regardless. What dedication! Soon enough we were eating brunch, getting the logistics of the ceremony down, and getting in our cap and gowns. The graduation ceremony was a bit of a blur, but I can say that my little group definitely outscreamed everyone else's when I crossed the stage, which I'll never forget.

Saturday night we had a fine meal at an old railway station and extremely interesting conversation with an entrepreneur and family friend, so I'll be writing another chapter later, because it's time to hop on the plane!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wild "Lost" Dream.

This morning, I awoke in Pittsburgh just as the biggest LOST bombshell EVER dropped. The entire group of the Others were standing around debating with Ben about his hurried disposition to invade the Losties camp. "You've lost control of yourself," they said. The argument became more heated, until they were all screaming at each other. Suddenly the island backdrop transformed into cold, metallic walls, and Ben, accompanied by a lot of screaming, morphed into Darth Maul. In succession each of the Others transformed into other Star Wars baddies, and finally the black smoke swooped down to materialize into Darth Sidious. "You idiots," he said, "you've totally lost control of the situation." That's when I woke up.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fueling the Fire.

Hilton's good behavior cuts jail time to 23 days

She must have gotten credit for all the drinking and driving, racist rants, and pornography. She totally didn't kill anyone. Such an angel!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I'm a Sucker Just Like Everyone Else...

...But I could not resist reading "Source: Hilton 'traumatized' over jail sentence". I typically try to avoid articles containing the dreaded "PH" like the plague, but this was just too much.

"Sophy said Hilton needs time to recover from the shock of receiving jail time before testifying in a civil case brought against her by actress and diamond heiress Zeta Graff. "

Okay, so now I don't even care about how ludicrous this "trauma" thing is and I'm thinking about this: when you are a rich heiress and have nothing better to do, I suppose your last resort is to sue other rich heiresses?

"Graff filed a $10 million lawsuit against Hilton in 2005, claiming the reality TV star spread "vicious lies" about her. Hilton has denied that she was behind a report alleging Graff once tried to grab a necklace worth $4 million from her throat."

You know, I received a package in the mail yesterday where my name was typed in "Adom" on the label. It's not spelled that way, though, you VICIOUS LIARS (or vicious idiots, whatever). I think I should sue them for TEN MILLION DOLLARS.

I also get a kick out of this:

"Hilton and her pal Nicole Richie star on "The Simple Life," which throws them into everyday situations."

...If anything, just because of the insinuation that the two girls don't normally experience "everyday situations," because that's for peasants and what-not. These chicks are rich, REALLY RICH, so they should totally be able to drive recklessly drunk and ignore probation and be totally traumatized when - GASP - they get sent to jail for being an idiot.

Raise your hand if you think Paris Hilton will get a clue in jail. Anyone?

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Today I won the North Richland Hills 4.5 Singles. Here is an action shot:

Here's what I got for the effort - I have to admit, this is pretty cool. It's a glass trophy with a player etched inside the glass.

As far as today's match went, it was a bit of a mixed bag - I had my moments of good play, and also some pretty dismal ones. I'd like to thank the sun for today's lows, where around 1:30 pm when I tossed up the ball for a serve I literally couldn't see a thing from that point for 5 seconds or so. I actually ended up "dinking" a few serves in the last game I was so helpless against the sun, which I haven't done since I was, oh, about 14 years old (that's when I started playing).
That's about all I had for this update. Time to get some rest.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

North Richland Hills Open.

This weekend I'm playing in the NRH Open, which I've played the last few years. This morning I played the #1 seed, who I have played before, named Dane. The first time we played he ran me ragged over the course of 3 sets and I had nothing for my next match. Thankfully, I learned from the past today and was able to attack, attack, attack. I won 6-1, 6-2. After the match, I chatted with him for a bit and found out he used to be a professional table tennis player, which makes a LOT of sense and explains everything I've ever wondered about his tennis game, which is fairly unique. More than any other player I've encountered, he loves to get into massively long forehand cross-court rallies and could literally do it all day - hence why I got so worn out the first time I played him. Today I tried serving and volleying a bit, which wasn't working too well because my volleys felt off, but my groundstroke attack was sufficient to get the job done without burning excessive energy.

In my second match, I played my friend Asod. Asod and I became hitting partners immediately after he dispatched me in my first tournament this year, the Fort Worth Spring Open. I believe I have written about that match before, but as a refresher it was a long three setter where I had ample opportunity to close it out in the second set, but blew it, then just had nothing left in the 3rd. Today was a bit of the opposite; I won the first set off one break, and he came back and played an extremely solid 2nd set, pushing it to a 3rd. I broke the first game, then after the side change we both started to show wear and tear with my horrendous 3 double-faults in my service game, followed by two for him. At the changeover, I was certainly thinking back to our first match and how I had nothing left in the tank in the third, and decided I'd have to be scraped off the court with a shovel today before I let that happen again. I basically gutted it out and ended up winning the next 4 games to take the last set 6-1. It was a great match, though, and I always really enjoy playing Asod. He is fairly rambunctious, but in a positive way - he never lays down, never plays "hack tennis," and gives props where props are due - a great guy and a great player.

So, tomorrow, I play in the final (yes, it was a small draw) at noon. Hopefully I'll be able to get some energy back overnight and my feet won't hurt so much in the morning.

I hope you all are having a good Saturday. As I think about Scatterbrain, a more appropriate term right now is "Scattered Weather." Over the past two weeks, we've had approximately 10 days of sun and humid heat, 2 days of scattered thunderstorms, and 2 days of violent thunderstorms where funnel clouds have landed, various houses around the metroplex have been ripped apart, and the TV has swapped out to a 3-hour "Weatherthon." Right now it looks like we have a standard-issue thunderstorm, so hopefully no need to seek shelter in the closet at the moment.

Stay dry, everyone, and let's hope that tomorrow I can take care of business!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

"Help Me."

Who the hell is this?!

LOST rules!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Official Scatterbrain LOST Theory.

LOST rules. I have loved the last few episodes and am dying to see how this turns out as the urgency rises, along with everyone's distrust. This morning I've been reading a lot of commentary from people saying "boy, they sure are hinting toward that purgatory thing" even though the producers have already nixed this theory.

Which, of course, got me to thinking about the expression "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" - the bottom line here is that we are being taken for a ride. I actually believed that Juliette was spurned by the Others and was going to make a change (cue the Michael Jackson) until the show hit us with the dubious tape-message. They got me. Even worse, they may have gotten me TWICE, because the message made us all realize "how could we be so stupid? She's still one of them!" Now I'm thinking that's not the case. She's stringing Ben along while she and Jack execute a plot to get everyone out of the mess they are in.

Also - location, location, location. South Pacific? I don't think so. I'm thinking about the Truman Show. Scientists create a massive bio dome with fascinating properties that will make the world a better place - perhaps it's powered by the mysterious magnetic (or whatever) core. However, they have found that under these conditions, we simply cannot create new life. The Others are a group of scientists recruited to fix this problem. The Losties, who are really a recurring group (i.e. there have been more groups like this in the past and there will be more until the problem is solved), are people "recruited" with dubious characteristics such that their disappearance from society will have minimal impact, while they have maximum impact in the space of the bio dome. Kind of like a spinal surgeon who has big problems in real life, and disappears to make a big impact in the dome. Or an attractive fugitive trying to outrun her past, but who makes a great "sample" to get impregnated as she's likely to hit it off with a couple other "specimens" on the island at some point.

Of course, none of this explains the smoke, unless it's a contraption designed by the dome creators to eliminate subjects that prove to be too dangerous to the experiment. But then even more wacky are the randomly appearing characters from people's pasts, including ones that are supposed to be dead. We'll just brush that one under the carpet for now. And the numbers. And a lot of other stuff. Crap.

There you have it - the Official Scatterbrain LOST Theory.

The Luxilon String Expert Rules.

I switched to Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power Rough a few weeks ago, and found a Luxilon online site where one of their engineers (? - he's just called "the expert") answers technical questions about the strings. This guy is awesome, and has provided some of the most thorough, intriguing answers about a company’s product that I’ve ever read. Below is a link to my most recent question. Also see #248 for another great answer. If you have even more free time, read some of the other questions people asked so you can see how dumb people are in general – "Dear Jeff, what type of string should I use?" No other information provided. Idiots!


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Blake Lewis Rules.

Whether you like his singing voice, or even whether you like the arrangements he uses to transform classic songs, there is no denying that Lewis is the most creative contestant in the history of "American Idol," period. His take on "You Give Love a Bad Name" tonight was just awesome. I still can't decide if I actually want him to win - I really don't think it's possible in the first place - but I think he has the ability to make some waves as a producer in the music industry, and bring some new angles to the table. Well done, Blake.