9.30.2008

Funny Commercials

I saw a link to one of these three commercials a few weeks ago. They are ads for Caterer.com, a hospitality job website in the UK. These are pretty funny, but may not be appropriate for work. The kid in the ads, Little Gordon, is supposed to be a child version of chef Gordon Ramsay.





One of My Fish Is Missing

This past weekend, when I was cleaning the aquarium, I noticed that I was missing a fish. I do not recall what type of fish it was, and somehow I forgot to mention it in my blog entry on August 15 when I mentioned the new fish. It was sliver with a slight bluish tint and had black vertical stripes.

Anyway, I figured the fish was in trouble when I got back from my business trip at the beginning of this month and noticed that the back half of the fish had turned a black color. Over the next couple of weeks, the fish turned black over more of its body. Then when I cleaned the tank last Friday, I could not find the fish at all. I looked in all of the aquarium decorations, but it was nowhere to be found. I can only assume that it died and was then consumed by the other fish in the aquarium.

The remaining fish, which number seven with the addition of a plecostomus earlier this month, all appear to be doing fine. Well there is one exception to that statement. The bottom fin of one of my three tiger barbs appears to have been nibbled on by another fish. That does give the tiger barb some difficulty in swimming, but it seems to be surviving anyway.

9.29.2008

Fun Weekend

We had a fun, and busy, weekend! It all started Friday night when Mel, Emma, and I went to the Mall of America to do a little shopping and for dinner. Emma needed a few more pairs of long pants, and we had a coupon for Carter's, so we got her a few pairs of pants there. Afterwards, we went to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner. I thought the food was a bit pricey for what it was. I guess we were paying for the atmosphere. And my sandwich was good, but not great. I thought it needed more sauce on it.

On Saturday, my sister came over to ride with us to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. We only live less than ten miles from her, but we hadn't seen her for quite some time. Anyway, we had an enjoyable time. Even Emma seemed to enjoy herself. We saw several performances--mostly comedy acts and then the jousting as well. A couple of the comedy groups we saw were The Mud Show and Puke and Snot. Both shows were good, but I thought Puke and Snot was hilarious, although I was surprised at how many of their jokes dealt with politics. It was funny nonetheless!

As if seeing my sister on Saturday was not enough, we got together with her again yesterday to go to the Minnesota Twins game. That was a fun game to go to. The Twins beat the Kansas City Royals to maintain their half game lead in the American League Central division. Now if the Chicago White Sox lose to the Detroit Lions in their makeup game today, the Twins will have the division title and head to the playoffs. Of course if the White Sox win, then they will have to play the Twins in a one game playoff for the title. Hopefully it doesn't come down to that.

9.26.2008

Seriously?

I can't believe that Sarah Palin, who could possibly become the President of the United States some time in the next four years actually believes that Alaska's close proximity to Russia translates into foreign policy experience. Give me a break!

I Spoke Too Soon

I guess the bailout plan has hit a few bumps, so unless there is an agreement and if McCain follows through on his word, there may be no debate tonight. Seriously though, can't McCain take a few hours off this evening to fly his private jet to Mississippi for the debate?

9.25.2008

Let the Campaigning Resume...

Now that there's a plan, it looks like the campaign may be back on schedule.

A Publicity Stunt?

Yesterday John McCain announced that he is going to suspend his presidential campaign because he needed to head back to Washington to work on the Wall Street bailout. I agree that both he and Barack Obama should be doing their actual jobs as members of the United States Senate while campaigning for president, but does McCain really need to suspend his campaign so he can work on something else? I understand cancelling any appearances to get back to Washington, but then cancelling one TV appearance for another seems a bit dishonest of him. And why is it that he feels the need to suspend his TV advertising? It's not as if he can not be working hard on the bailout plan while his TV commercials are still airing! Does he not have any staff to work on such things?

Then for the issue of tomorrow's scheduled debate between McCain and Obama. I do not know why the two can not work on legislation during the day, then head to Mississippi in the afternoon for the debate. From what I've read, McCain wants to push the debate back to October 2, the scheduled date for the debate between vice presidential candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, if the bailout plan is not approved by tomorrow. I don't suppose he is trying to keep that debate from taking place so he can avoid the public seeing Biden wipe the floor with Palin.

Oh well, there are just forty days of campaigning left until the election. Actually I suppose there are fewer since McCain isn't campaigning at the moment.

For your viewing pleasure, here's David Letterman's reaction to John McCain's suspension of his campaign.

Last Weekend

It's been a while since I have blogged anything of any substance. I've mostly resorted to posting videos lately. Part of that is because I haven't had much to blog about, but also I have been both busy and lazy. Anyway, I meant to blog about the weekend some time on Monday, but I just didn't get to it.

Our weekend was quite full of activities. On Saturday, we all went to Mel's grandmother's house to help with the painting of the house's exterior. We hadn't seen Mel's parents in a while, so it was good to see them. The painting wasn't too bad either, even though painting exteriors of houses is not among my favorite things to do. It does make me glad that we have vinyl siding on our house now. However, the trim will need to be repainted some time soon, but that's not as bad as painting the entire house.

On Sunday, we went to the Minnesota Zoo with my mother. We had a good time checking out the animals there, although we did skip a couple of sections of the zoo.

This coming weekend will be full again as we are going to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival with my sister on Saturday, and then on Sunday we are going to a Twins game with my sister as well.

9.23.2008

9.19.2008

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day Everyone!

Ahoy me hearties, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The video below from the founders of this fins holiday gives some tips on how to talk like a pirate.

9.18.2008

My Sarah Palin Baby Name

My sister sent me a link a website which determines what your name would be had you been born to Sarah Palin, and according to the website, my name would be Drill Swollen Palin.

9.16.2008

To the Doctor

This past weekend, actually since Friday, I have been feeling like crap! At first I thought I just had a cold, but I seemed to be missing some typical cold symptoms, and my throat hurt much more than it normally does when I have a cold. So after seeing that I had a fever of slightly over 100 degrees Fahrenheit Sunday night, Mel told me that I needed to see a doctor the next day. I haven't bothered to find a doctor yet since moving to Minnesota, so I wanted to find a clinic where I could just walk in without an appointment. After doing some searching on my health insurance manager's website, I found that there was a walk-in medical clinic at one of the grocery stores which is located near our house. I was a bit apprehensive at first about going to the grocery store to see a doctor, but I was impressed with the service I received. There was no waiting, and both the nurse and doctor were very professional and friendly. Within half an hour of arriving I left with a prescription and knowing that I have both an ear infection and a sinus infection. Hopefully I feel better soon.

9.14.2008

Trip to the Aquarium

Yesterday we took a trip to the Mall of America to visit the Underwater Adventures Aquarium, the world's largest underwater aquarium. We had a good time. Emma seemed especially pleased with out choice to go there. She enjoyed looking at all of the fish and turtles before we entered the tunnel. When we were in the tunnel, she was really excited by all of the fish swimming around us.

After touring the aquarium, we strolled around the first floor of the mall. It was very crowded as there was a scapbooking event taking place all around the first floor. That also explained why parking was such a pain. We had to go all the way to the top of the parking ramp. Despite those issues though, we had a good afternoon out.

9.10.2008

Pigs and Lipstick

I guess the big news of the day was Barack Obama's recent use of the expression "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig." At least you would think this was big news if you looked at the Fox News website, which has had something related to the story at the top of its page the entire day, or if you asked the McCain campaign. So Obama used this common expression, and because Sarah Palin made a joke in her speech at the RNC about the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom being that the hockey mom wears lipstick, the right wingers are saying that Obama called Palin a pig. He did not call her a pig. His comment was in reference to the idea that a McCain presidency would be the same as the past eight years of George W. Bush's presidency. Besides, I guess Sarah Palin thinks that she's a dog, afterall the only difference between her and a pit bull is the lipstick. Does that mean she goes out into the yard to take a crap?

Oh, and Obama isn't the only politician to use this expression recently.

At least one prominent Republican doesn't think the lipstick-on-a-pig remark is a big deal. Here's Mike Huckabee discussing this issue with Sean Hannity.

New iPods

I have had a second generation iPod nano since November 2005. Since that time, I have listened to it for most of the workday almost every workday. This changed when I started working from home in July as I can now listen to my music directly through iTunes using my computer's speakers instead of the earphones. However, I still like to use my iPod when travelling for work or while driving in the car. Unfortunately, the battery life on my nano has decreased significantly. It's now to the point where I am lucky to get even five hours of listening time out of it.

Recently, I have been considering my options. While I could send it into Apple for a battery replacement, I could go ahead and spend a little more money and just get a new iPod. My birthday is coming up next month, so I may get some money as gifts with which I could make such a purchase. I had been thinking that the iPod classic would be the way to go as its 120 GB (about 30,000 songs) capacity would enable it to hold my entire music collection with plenty of room to spare. However, while that would be great, I do like the small size of the nano. It's small enough to fit in my pocket.

Well today I discovered that Apple has released a fourth generation iPod nano, the nano-chromatic. Not only does this nano have improved battery life, a bigger display than my nano, and a greater storage capacity of 16 GB, four times that of my nano. It also comes in nine different colors, looks awesome, plays video (which mine does not), and is less expensive than the iPod classic. While I do not know yet if I will go ahead and replace my iPod nano with a new iPod, it looks like I will have more options to choose from.

9.09.2008

Primary Election Day

Today is primary election day in Minnesota, and on our way to her daycare, Emma and I stopped to vote. Well, I voted, she watched and helped to push the ballot into the machine. This was my first time voting in Minnesota. When I registered to vote a month ago, I was a bit confused since the voter registration form did not include a space to indicate party affiliation. I was wondering how this would work for the primary election as every other state in which I have lived asked for a party when registering. Well here everyone gets the same ballot. One side has the partisan elections in which the candidates are listed in three separate columns, one for each party - Independence (former governor Jesse Ventura's party), Republican, Democrat-Farmer-Labor. I could choose any one column in which to vote. Now it is less than two months until the general election. I wonder if the attack ads between Norm Coleman and Al Franken will heat up even more if Franken wins the DFL nomination. At least there are less than two months until the general election.

9.08.2008

Livening Up the RNC

This certainly would have made John McCain's speech at the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul more interesting...

9.02.2008

RNC

I flew out of the Minneapolis - St. Paul Airport to get to Chicago for a week of meetings for work. With the Republican National Convention being in Saint Paul this week, all of the stores were well prepared for an influx of GOP members. Most of the stores were decked out with signs welcoming the Republicans to town, and as I walked through the mall area of the airport, I felt completely surrounded by Republican and McCain/Palin swag. They had T-shirts, polo shirts, water bottles, and even red, white, and blue, stuffed elephants. Ugh.

Anyway after dinner tonight I returned to the hotel and caught Joe Lieberman's speech at the RNC. I have to say that I found the speech much less than inspiring. He kept harping on the theme of putting our country ahead of our political party. That all sounds good and fine, but John McCain and Sarah Palin's view of what this country should be does not fit with my view. Anyway, I suppose that nothing I could possibly hear in the RNC coverage would change my mind about my support for Barack Obama in November's election. If anything, McCain's pick for his vice presidential running mate has only cemented my decision to vote for Obama in just over two months.

Heading to Chicago

I'm about to take off for a business trip in Chicago for the remainder of the week. As I depart, here's a video of the grizzly bears at the Minnesota Zoo that I shot Sunday while Emma, Mel, and I were there. I'll try to find some time to blog once I make it to the Windy City.