Thursday, June 30, 2005

Go there, now!

I thought this would be an appropriate spot to share with the world two of my favorite internet sites at this time (the others will have to wait, darn content filter!)

The first is a game I stumbled onto a few days ago. No, I'm not a big computer game dork, but on occasion I will find one that I will play relentlessly for a few days and completely burn myself out on. I have been justifying my play of this game by saying that since it is a word game, it has an educational value. Unfortunately, the fact that you can sit for hours on end without moving more than your right hand a few inches probably eliminates all good that this game can do for someone. At any rate, I'm passing it on to you so that I won't be alone in the madness. And if you don't like it, well, you just aren't smart enough. Bookworm

The other site is one that I have been reading for a couple of years now. I will just come right out and say it: Bill Simmons is the coolest guy in the world. When I grow up, I want to be just like him. His writing style is great and his grasp of sports and pop culture is rivaled by no one. I mean this guy wrote a 10,000 word column on the Karate Kid. He has kept a running minute-by-minute diary of the NBA draft for the last 7 years. There isn't another website out there that makes me laugh out loud consistently (except for Barefoot). This is the guy that I wish lived next door so that we could hang out and BBQ and stuff. Yes, I would rather hang out with him than Emily Proctor. Well, I guess I should stop gushing. Check him out. And if you don't like it, well, you just aren't smart enough. Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy

NOTE: The writer of this post received no compensation for the preceding recommendations. However, he would be more than happy to receive some. Or some from anyone else who would like to have their site pimped in this space. The writer is admittedly pretty easy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Not really a contest

Phone interview #2 went pretty well yesterday. It was an interview for a job in Arizona that is a carbon copy of the job that I had been doing here for the last 3+ years. So, yeah, I had some good experience that I could tell them about. It's nice to have an interview where you actually have the answers to the questions they are asking, and not have to BS your way through it.

The most comical part of the whole thing was the last question asked. Again, this was a 4-way conference call, but they asked the standard: Do you have a valid Arizona driver's license, if not, would you foresee any problems getting one?

"Well," I said. "No, I don't have an Arizona license, but I don't think I would have a problem getting one. I have a clean record here in Louisiana, and if I can drive in Louisiana, I should be able to handle it anywhere else."

"Ha ha. You may have a lot learn about Arizona," said one of the guys.

Now really. While I didn't comment back about that, I thought to myself, "this guy really doesn't have a clue. Unless its Arizona law that you have to drive a unicycle at 100 mph while blindfolded, there ain't nothing that compares to this holy mess that is the Louisiana Highway System."

To borrow from my old friend Frank S., "if I can make it here, I can make it anywhere."

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Do What?!

As I have mentioned, I am currently doing a lot of shopping in that so-called "job market." It has not been without its incredibly frustrating moments.

Case in point:

Upon returning home from running some errands that included swimming lessons for the Legacy, I found there to be a message on the answering machine. As anyone who is job searching can tell you, that little blinking light can mean the world. So, I hit play (seems logical, no?) The following is an unedited transcript of the message (I couldn't make this up if I wanted to!):

Uh, hi. This message is for Jeff DeBlog. We'd like for you to come in for a job, for an interview. If you could call us back at 9:30, uh, before 9:30, uh well, before 11, at the Siegen Lane location. Thanks.Click
Wednesday, 11:17 a.m.

Do What?! Can I get a name? Can I get a number? Something??

After the dumbfounded shock wore off, I began to try to figure it out. Well, there were two prospects that I had spoken with, that had locations on Siegen Lane, let's try them. Nope. No go. Well, let's call everyone on Siegen Lane that it could be. Nope. No dice. What??

I've decided to just let it go and believe that if it was really important they would try to call back. But, I'm also having serious doubts that I would even want to work somewhere that employs such mental giants. It might be contagious.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Calling out tjenkins

This post has one purpose: to call out the loser who is harassing my wife. tjenkins has decided that it is his purpose to sit on his butt wherever he is and harass my wife on her blog. You sir, are an ass.

Having been surfing the internet for years, and having participated in forums and discussion boards, I understand that there are certain types out there who feel the internet is their opportunity to pester, provoke, incite, irritate and/or harass whomever they please all while being protected being some innocuous screen name that shields their true identity. This is a sad, sad commentary on the quality of their lives.

tjenkins began graffitting my wife's blog several weeks ago, while hiding behind an "anonymous" screen name. Ballsy, huh? When she decided she did not want that kind of interaction, she disabled the comment function to all who did not have a screen name. Well, this jack*** went out and got a screen name, tjenkins, and has continued to litter my wife's site with hurtful, inane, and generally moronic posts.

I suggested to my wife that she ignore and delete all references to this guy because he was just looking for attention that he is so desperately in need of from anyone. Well, he appears to be taking some sick delight from that kind of attention as well.

I would like to suggest to anyone out there who may know who this creep is, to pass him along to me. My wife's happiness is paramount to me and any jerk who would like to threaten that has just made one hell of an enemy. I don't want this to be construed as an idle threat because it may be difficult to identify this pansy, but believe me, there is no idleness.

I am also calling out the moderators and administrators of tjenkins has made threatening and menacing comments and should be held accountable. I believe in freedom of speech and the freedom of the internet, but I also believe in accountability.

tjenkins, if you are reading this, back the hell off. Anyone else reading this, keep an eye out for this creep and any others like him. And any help that can be sent our way will be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, his e-mail address is:

Friday, June 24, 2005

Reach out and hire someone

Well, today I had my first "telephone job interview". A new experience for me, and survey says: not a fan.

In my quest to rejoin the working world (yes, I know, some people out there actually complain about having to work too much, although I can hardly hear them over the pleas from my children for food and shelter), I have applied for jobs all over the country. After everyone in my city had received a copy of my resume, I thought I would expand my horizons and make myself available to the entire free world.

So, lo and behold, I actually received two bites: one in Colorado and one in Arizona. They both called early in the week to set up "phone interviews" with me. Today, I spoke with the nice people in the square state.

Following our 20 minute phone conference (I was on speakerphone with 3 people over there) I came to the following conclusion: I firmly believe that the DeBlog experience must be had in person. I just didn't feel like I came across as great as I truly believe I am (and my mommy says I am).

Oh well. Even if today's interview didn't get me a new job in a far off place, maybe its at least built me a little karmic credit in the job finding category.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Law of Pixels

"Let's take a look at this security tape"
"Alright, stop. Freeze it right there. Zoom in on the upper left corner."
fjasjk jgf;jv;l jg; opj; av;lakjl;vas;lgal;k
"Okay, how's 100x?"
"Good, now can you clear it up for me?"
sf;alsjlf;ajsl;kga;jl;vkja;jv;aj; ajs;ja;skjf;kj
"Okay, there. You can see the person has blue eyes, a small scar on his nose and hasn't shaved in 26 hours."
"Good. Rotate it 275 degrees so we can see what is in his backpack"
"There. I rotated it, zoomed in and applied the infrared filter and x-ray scope and you can see he has a Glock 9mm. If I can just get in a little tighter, I'll get the serial number for you."
"Okay. Now we just have to wait for the printer to spit out the piece of paper that will give us all of his information including DNA, blood type, shoe size, fetishes and nicknames from his mother."
Print, Print, Print.
"There you go."
"Okay, good job."

As you can probably tell, that was a recreation of just about any scene from CSI, Las Vegas, Law&Order, etc... My question: have we come that far in technology and I'm just not aware, or are they so full of crap and we are just supposed to sit there and take it?

This is one of my largest pet peeves about TV shows today. It may be because in my profession I deal with a lot of graphics software and stay pretty up-to-date (I thought) with digital photography and video. But I'm sorry, there are certain facts like: digital pictures are made of pixels!! And unless the local 7-Eleven security camera is a 100-megapixel digital, then you ain't zooming in on nothing. And you certainly aren't doing a 275 degree rotation on a 2-Dimensional image. Puhleeze.

My other peeve is the way they are always huddled around the printer waiting for the "results". Last I checked, I can usually see on my computer screen what is being printed. I guess they just like the surprise of it, so they've made a rule that no one can actually look at the computer before the paper comes out.

And what's with all the typing?? Anytime they do anything, it requires a 42-keystroke shortcut. Where's the mouse? Isn't everything point-and-clik these days?

And if all of this is close to reality, then someone needs to look into the budgets of the Las Vegas Crime Lab. I'll bet there are some schools that would like a little of that action.

These shows work so hard to look real. They spend so much on special effects and cadavers, I think it is just creative laziness to invent these spectacular computers and devices that help the plot move along so quickly. I might as well watch Star Trek, its just as real.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

My Birthday Wish List

Lucky me, I just found out what I'm getting for my birthday in August.

My boy (the Legacy) had his 4th birthday in May and for the first time has really realized what a birthday is: people give you stuff. Lots of stuff. So, of course his next big question is: when do I get to do that again?! Well, I patiently explained that birthdays come but once a year, and now he had to wait for everyone else in the family to have theirs and then it would be his turn again. Yeah, I'm trying to explain taking turns to a 4 yr. old.

Well, that went over like a lead balloon and he proceeded to spend the next month asking why we couldn't just skip everyone else and go ahead and have his again. I finally broke down and explained to him that we couldn't do that because MINE was next and I was not going to skip mine.

Then came the epiphany. Four year old epiphanies are always fun. The gleam in the eye and the wily grin. Then he looks up at me and says: "Oh, I know Daddy. You know what I'm gonna get you for your birthday? A Shark Boy suit with goggles, a Power Ranger watch/communicator, a Batman four-wheeler, and the new Star Wars movie. Wouldn't you like that, Daddy? And maybe we could play together, right?"

Can you really fault that kind of logic? Truly impressive for a 4 yr. old. But what else could I expect from my Legacy...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I Demand Compensation!

I have figured out the secret to success in Hollywood: Children's Movies.

If you want to make a killing, here's the recipe: Come up with some multi-colored, flashing light characters, promote it about a dozen times an hour on morning and evening television, and make sure that you saturate the local Wal-mart and McDonald's/Burger King with any kind of product that features said multi-colored, flashing light character. Do not worry about a script, good acting or even really a story or purpose. Then you just sit back and let the little 2-10 yr old drones drag money bearing adults to the theaters.

Yes, I just returned from "Shark Boy and Lava Girl." As an adult, I actually feel dumber for having sat through it. My wallet certainly feels lighter. $15.00 at the matinee, and the first thing I hear from my boy is the laundry list of things he wants now, including but not limited to: Shark Boy costume, Shark Boy motorcycle, Shark Boy claws, etc.

This got me thinking of what a racket these kids movies are. Not only is enough money made of the merchandising, but the studios are guaranteed extra ticket sales. If this was the latest comic book movie, or teen angst ridden comedy, then I'd hand my 14-yr old $7 and drop him at the door and do something productive with my 2 hours. Or if its the latest Oscar nominee, adult comedy or all-out action flick, then I'd pony up the $14 for the wife and I and then I would enjoy it. Even if its the most recent tearfest from Nora Ephron or whatever Meg Ryan is doing, then I gladly give up the $14 for my wife and I with the expectation of post-movie enjoyment (although expectations are not guaranteed). But what do you get with the latest kids' movies? An extra ticket will always be sold for the adult who must accompany the little commercial absorbers. Aside from the creepy guy in the overcoat in the backrow, I can't really believe that any of the adults actually enjoyed this offering. Actually, having sat through it, I can't see how any of the kids did either, but they obviously did.

So what am I getting at? I DEMAND COMPENSATION! If they continue to make these kids flicks, that I will continue to have to bring my kids to, then compensate me. Either let me in free with a promise to not actually enjoy the show, or give me a free pass to something I will enjoy at a later date. Something! If nothing else, a jumbo popcorn so I can drown myself in its buttery goodness while 10-yr old child actors, making way more money than I ever will, read cue cards and throw snot covered brains at each other.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Has Confucius retired?

What is the deal with fortune cookies these days? I'll tell you what the deal is: they suck. They are not even "fortune" cookies any more. What kind of fortune do they provide anyway?

Gone are the days of cracking open the stale treat and reading: "Beware of the tall dark man" or "Take the road to the left" or "Read that me-on-the-world blog and send him lots of money". You never see that anymore.

They might as well call them "Flowery Crap Sayings" cookies. Now its: "May life throw you a pleasant curve." Or "Be more affectionate today" Or "Many a false step is made by standing still."

What kind of fortunes are those? How in the world is that going to solve all my problems and make me an indebted servant to Buddha and Confucius?

This reminds me of the Simpsons episode when they visit China and stumble upon an office where 2 dozen drunk cigar smoking monkeys are typing on typewriters and are producing the fortune slips for these little tasties. Now if that was real (and if it is on the Simpsons its got to be pretty close right?), that would be worth the price of the all-you-can-eat buffet. To finish my meal of sesame seeds, soy and MSG, and then be handed, as a souvenir, a slip of paper typewritten by an actual monkey. Tell me that wouldn't be pretty cool. I'd actually collect them.

So, my Asian friends, drop the charade. Forget the "fortune cookie", bring on the "monkey slips"!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

2 Live Crew meets the Grand Ole Opry

My inaugural post on this site. So what should I expound upon? Michael Jackson? Too easy, we'll get to that later. Terry Schiavo? Too deep. The most boring NBA Finals ever or the collapse of LSU athletics right before our eyes? See here.

No, I think I'll go after the big dogs of country music. Yes, look out Toby Keith and Tim McGraw. Now, if I notice suspicious looking 4-wheel drive vehicles lurking on my street or overall clad individuals following me beyond the usual suspects at Wal-Mart, then I will know the far reaching affects of this little blog. Anyway:

What the h-e-double hockeysticks is going on in country music. As I mentioned in a past life, "my musical tastes are as broad as my waistline." However, my first love, and the one I always wind up going back to is country music. While I don't own a pick-up truck, nor hunt nor fish, nor have I ever chewed tabaccy, I do enjoy country music. All the way back to the classic stuff before I was even around. However, I must shake my head at what is going on now.

A few years ago, I was a bit concerned by "new country." As country music hedged toward mainstream pop, thank you Shania, Faith, the Dixie Chicks and Lonestar, I was afraid we were headed toward the vanilla-ization of all music. But the one thing that country music could hold on to were the lyrics. Say what you want, but there have been some great lyricists coming out of Nashville. And I thought that the sound may skew to the pop side occasionally, if you listen to the words, its still country.

Well, now I must blush. Toby Keith began down the road with his infamous patriotic pledge to insert the proverbial American boot in the proverbial terrorist back door, if you get what I'm saying. That may have been one of the first well-known use of the word "ass" in country music. While it upset some, it was accepted by many because of its bravado in the face of the enemy. For some reason, I think Toby just thought that left the door wide open. On his next album, he had a great little ditty about "what happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico" complete with the tale of the married salesman and the married woman who forget the mundane ties of matrimony for a wild weekend south of the border (I mean geographically). While cheating songs have been a staple of country music for years, never so blantantly. This was just a "gettin' it on" song that left little to the imagination.

Now, he's got another hit on his hands that might as well be titled "That Little Blue Pill." And I quote: I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was. Pure poetry. Set in the great story of him picking up on some 20-yr old groupie, its all class.

You may be asking: what does Tim McGraw have to do with this? Well, first let me say I admire the heck out of Tug, Jr. I've always said any man who can snag Faith Hill and convince her to move to LOUISIANA deserves my respect. But the boy has me confused as of late. A recently released song of his pines for the country music of yesteryear. Amen, brother. He bemoans the outside influences on his country music and wishes for a purer sound. Good for him. The next single released has him doing a duet with, drumroll please, Nelly. Yeah, Conway Twitty must be loving that one. And now, a previous single of his has gained a second life on, believe it or not, your Top 40 station. Ugh.

Don't get me wrong. Like I said, I am a fan of all genres. Someday I'll post "what's on my i-pod", except that I don't have one, although this may be a good excuse to get one. Anyway, its the dumbing down of tradition and catering to the lowest common denominator to expand your audience that gets me.

Maybe I'm just getting old. Maybe I'm just looking for something to rant about in this, my opening salvo. Or maybe these are just my meanderings to the beat of a different drummer.