Saturday, June 16, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

EW Checks in Again

I got another e-mail from Entertainment Weekly. They are now offering a subscription to me for less than 38 cents (U.S.) an issue, plus gifts. Check out my last post on the situation here. Anyway, here is the e-mail itself:

Dear KEN,

We want you back as a subscriber so much, we're offering you ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY up to 89% off the newsstand price! You'll get
40 issues for only $20. Or use your credit/debit card and save $5 more!

Subscribe now and you will also get:

FREE Movie Screening Passes as they become available on a first-come,
first-served basis.

Respond by June 29th to ensure you receive the Fall Movie Preview and
the 2007 Photo issue, one of our most popular special issues!

So grab your chance to receive FREE Movie Passes, save up to 89% off
the newsstand price, and keep up with what's happening in the world of
entertainment. Click here to come back to ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY.

Holley Cavanna


Now, in theory, I could opt out of these e-mails. But I find them...entertaining. I'm still holding out for an offer where they actually pay me to subscribe.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Ramblings of an Expectant Father

As I was putting together the latest big update to our blog, I decided that some of my comments were best placed here instead. So, here they are.

Another birthday has come and gone. Birthdays weren’t so much a big deal in my family of origin – don’t get me wrong, we got nice gifts – but in Kori’s family of origin they have traditionally been a big deal. So, it is a great time to pack on extra pounds with celebratory meals. I was treated to a meal out at work, and then there’s the monthly birthday cake. Kendra and Steve took us out to Amazon Brazilian BBQ. That’s one of those places where you have to show up very hungry. I love the alligator. Kori and I had previously gotten together with my mother, Chris, Kim, Mike, Blaine, and Macon to celebrate Mother’s Day, Chris’ birthday, and my birthday together. Kori’s parents also had us over to celebrate my birthday, along with Troy and Toby. Finally, Kori and I went to have some green corn tamales with my dad and Kathleen. It’s nice to be treated so well!

My birthday used to depress me, but ever since I proposed to Kori on my birthday, it can no longer depress me. Good move on my part.

Let’s see… Life is in transition mode as we prepare for Keelie. Typically, four days a week, it seems like all I can do once I get home from work is eat dinner and get ready for bed, and maybe watch a little television. You’d think three days a week off would be enough to catch up on everything, but it hasn’t worked out that way. I purposely moved my 30-minutes-a-day of exercising to the morning, and that has made my days better, even though it has meant getting up half an hour earlier on workdays.

One to two of my days off is/are typically taken up with honey-dos, errands/shopping, appointments, phone calls, and weekly reading. Half of another is taken up with church stuff. No complaints, though – this is a good life.

No complaints are far as having a lot to do, that is. I have plenty of complaints about getting the new desktop computer the way we want it. We’ve had plenty of problems with this thing, which came with Vista, including the machine not being able to get out of sleep mode, and Outlook (or Windows Mail, for that matter) not being able to send messages through AT and T. Even if Mail would work, I can’t transfer all of our contacts to it for some reason. After researching some of the problems myself and not being able to fix them, I spent a lot of time one weekend dealing with the store that sold us the system with Vista loaded (since they have a service for this kind of thing), and then the manufacturer, and then AT and T. In the end, we were referred to Microsoft. Haven’t contacted them yet.

Then there is the migration from our old machines to the new one. I did manage to backup the stuff on the 95 machine on zip disks. Can someone please tell me why Microsoft wants us to keep changing e-mail programs? Internet Mail, Outlook, Windows Mail… pick a program and stick with it, Microsoft!

And why can't I use the ampersand symbol on blogger? Grrr! That meanst I have to write it as "AT and T"

Okay, on to television.

First, a technical complaint. We have Time Warner Cable, which took over for Adelphia in a deal with Comcast after Adelphia went kaput. Some of the channels on our main television get choppy or just one come in at all. We’ve had someone to repair it at least twice, but the problem is still here. I got a call the other day while I was exercising from someone from Time Warner Cable looking to sell me something. Before he could, though, I told him we were unhappy with our service and told him why. There’s no glitch with them charging us every month, though. Imagine that. I have no idea why the guy was calling, because he didn’t bother to tell me after I calmly suggested we might want to switch to AT and T’s new television service. He did ask if the neighbors are having the same sorts of problems. I answered honestly – I don’t know, because I don’t speak Spanish.

Okay, now on to content.

Unlike a lot of the other people, we did watch The Apprentice this past season. If they come back for another season, that show needs an actor to be a mole on each team. Think about it – Trump and his kids could know who the moles are, and thus avoid firing them until late in the game, but nobody else would know (except the audience) that there are even moles on the show. They can use the justification that in the business world, you sometimes have to work with jerks. The actors can be offered a bonus if nobody ever figures it out or accuses them of being a mole. We also still watch each season of Survivor. I think it is time they amped that show up… maybe pit a tribe of law enforcement people up against ex-cons, or some other groups with known rivalries/animosities. Palestinians against Israelis? Democrats vs. Republicans? East Coast vs. West Coast? Americans-since-birth vs. naturalized Americans? North Americans vs. Europeans?

We also still watch American Idol, but it got boring this past season after that VoteFortheWorst candidate got the boot.

The Soup is a guilty pleasure that always makes me laugh.

Law and Order SVU is addicting, even when it plays to religious or political stereotypes. The writers must get tired, as evidenced when a bunch of the characters are sitting around in a room discussing a crime and they sound like they are delivering a monologue, only the lines have been distributed amongst them. Hey, I’m not throwing stones - it isn’t like I have anything on TV. But once… just once… I’d like Stabler to answer his cell phone while Benson talks to someone and NOT have the call conveniently have something to do with the case they are working on that moves them on to the next location.

For example:

Benson: “What was that call about? Is the DNA a match?”

Stable: “What? Oh, uh no. I’m supposed to meet up with one of
the kids to sign some paperwork.”

Oh well… television airtime is valuable.

Speaking of Special Victims, I catch some of those Dateline NBC episodes that are all about predators who use the Internet to set up meetings with decoys they think are 13-year-olds. That’s fascinating stuff, I don’t care how edited it is. Some people cite ethical problems with the production of the show, other people are upset that predators are being lured to their neighborhoods. Controversial stuff, to be sure.

Kori and I also watch Identity, 1 vs. 100, Jeopardy, and reruns of The Simpsons. Kori watches more TV than I do, programs such as Heroes, The Amazing Race, American’s Next Top Model, Dancing with the Stars, The People’s Court, and Dr. Phil.

Kori also seems to watch a lot of those true-crime show that take a whole hour detailing how one spouse killed the other, went on trial, and was convicted. What do you think - should I be worried?

It will be interesting to see how our viewing habits change after Keelie is born. Everything is supposed to change, right? Parents tell expectant parents that their how life will change, that everything gets more complicated, that everything is much more a hassle, that time, energy, money, and sleep will be short, and all sorts of other downsides... yet they also tell us "It's the best thing in the world!" Let me get this straight... we'll be frustrated, depressed zombies with no money and no lives, but it's a good thing anyway. Hmmm. That can only mean one thing... kids really are gifts with amazing powers.

In all seriousness, we expect life to be completely different. We made the decision to become parents consciously, and while no set of books or seeing siblings and friends with their own kids could really prepare us, we know we volunteered for this life change.

That’s all for now. Keep me updated on what you are up to.