Saturday, December 23, 2006

I love it when...

a plan works!

Andrew has no idea how to sustain a conversation. Whenever he feels the pressure of silence he'll ask something like 'so, how's everybody?' or 'how's the weather.'. Hmmm, we live in Phoenix - how does he expect the weather to be anyway???

I'll give him points for trying even though over the past year or more I've been encouraging him to break out. How is it going to look when he's having dinner with his girlfriends parents for the seventh time and he can still only ask about the weather?

So a couple of months ago we, that is Mom and I, decided that he should talk for two minutes at dinner each evening about any subject that enters his head so long as it doesn't relate to our health or the state of the weather. Seemed like a good plan.

After a few false starts he got onto the subject of his favourite band. I'll claim credit for the suggestion. With the smile of someone who is certain that his interests won't be shared he imparted the knowledge that one of his favourite bands is Slipknot[^] and dwellt at considerable length on some of their song titles. 'Pulse of the Maggots' for one! Uh huh, just what you want to be talking about over dinner!

I've been a subscriber to Rhapsody for some months now - great service for the kind of music I like - beats Urge and Napster and Yahoo!music hands down. So a little later that evening I checked if they had StinkbuttSlipknot. Yep, and the album he enthusiastically endorsed.

Five minutes later the album is on my music player and I gave it a listen at the office the next day. I made sure to memorise some of the lyrics (and the tune) and, at dinner the next evening I was sitting there chanting 'I won't let it build up inside of me'!. Took him a few moments to catch on and when he did he asked where I got that tune from. 'Oh', I said, 'from that band you talked about last night, what was their name? Stinkbutt?'. Grin from Andrew. 'You know, Andrew', I said, 'they're quite good.'

You should have seen the amazed look on his face. 'You liked it??? Wow!'.

I didn't have the heart to tell him that anyone who grew up listening to rock in the late 60's wouldn't feel all that lost with Slipknot. About all that's changed is that nowadays rock bands have license to slip in a few four letter words. *shrug*

And nope, I very much doubt Slipknot will ever make it to my 'must listen' list. But I did enjoy it for a few listens.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

So what do I know about Rock anyways?

Nicked fromInspired by Vern[^].

The Seeker
You scored 60%!
I don't know if you've been searching low and high, but you do know your bare-bones classic rock basics. With this kind of score, you probably nailed the signature song questions and most of the albums. You probably don't have much of a classic rock collection yourself, but when your friends play theirs, you recognize the songs. This is a respectable score: you're neither know-nothing nor nerd.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on notes
Link: The BASIC classic rock Test written by allmydays on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Testing a thermometer

How things change. Time was when a thermometer, the type one might use to take ones temperature, contained a drop of mercury in a thin tube and you had to squint just right to read the damn thing. I'm not sure I could even read one these days; the years are taking their toll on my eyesight.

Nowadays there's a thermocouple and an LCD display supposedly calibrated to tenths of a degree. One of these days I might do a couple of checks to see how accurate they are.

The thing that amazes me the most though is that they give the things away at the local pharmacy! Cue the old codger music. I remember when the glass and mercury thermometer was expensive enough that most households in our neighbourhood didn't have one!

Whilst picking up a prescription the other day Sonya grabbed a couple of thermometers and left one sitting on the dinner table. We're a bit like that; almost the only time the dinner table is cleared is at Christmas. (There! I knew there'd be another use for Christmas!) Sat down to dinner Andrew picked it up and stuck it in his gob to test it. I couldn't resist.

'Ummm, my dear?' I asked Sonya. 'Do you think we should tell Andrew how we tested that thermometer?'

'Nah' she said. 'It'd only put him off his dinner'.

It did too!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The cheap bastards pile

My US passport finally arrived last week. As you know I wasn't in that much of a hurry for it to arrive; I was quite content to be unable to do international travel and now that we're getting close to *that* time of the year (the only use I have for Christmas) it's unlikely I'll have to travel for at least another month. That said, it was in December 2004 that I was sent on less than a days notice to France. France I wouldn't mind - I'm just not in any hurry to go back to The Philippines.

The passport arrived on November 27th but curiously it was dated October 30th. Hmmm, so they made it and then took nearly a month to ship it out? Seems so.

Of course I have my theory. I didn't pay the expedite fee so, having made it, they tossed it into the cheap bastards pile, in the bin marked, do not ship until November 24th!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Importance of Research

With *that* time of the year fast approaching I was indulging in my usual rant about Christmas and all it stands for. My wife asked, 'how is that I ended up married to such a Bah Humbug'.

'Simple' I replied, 'you didn't do your research!'.