A Week from Tomorrow

The new Star Trek movie comes out in theaters next Friday! Here is a clip form it which was shown during Lost last night:

Star Trek Clip from Lost Episode 100 from Your Entertainment Now on Vimeo.


A couple of days ago, one of my friends on Facebook mentioned to all his friends that Facebook now lets users change the language that Facebook is displayed in to English (Pirate). Doing so changes the wording Facebook uses in messages to its users and in how some text is displayed. For example, now when I get an email from Facebook letting me know that someone commented on someone's status after me, instead of saying "____ also commented on ____'s status," it says "____ be weighin' in on ____'s recent tales too." After making that change, I wrote on Twitter that I thought Facebook should also offer the Klingon language. Shortly after making that comment I got a response from another Twitter user saying that he, and some others, had been trying to get Facebook to let them do that, but they had been turned down. I then decided to follow that Twitter user. Yesterday he tweeted in Klingon, and after spending a little bit of time looking at it, I successfully translated what he had written into English, replying to him to see if I was correct. He replied, in Klingon, to let me know that I had done a good job. Now it looks like I may have a new hobby, learning tlhIngan Hol (the Klingon language).

DaH jIQapnIsqa'.


A Rough Night

For the past few nights, Emma has been coughing quite a bit while sleeping. This has had the effect of waking her up several times in the night, and consequently waking Mel and me up as well. So last night after dinner we took Emma to the doctor to see if there was something they could do. The doctor said the has a condition called bronchalitis. Mel was afraid that it would be asthma since she herself has asthma. However the doctor said that they do not diagnose asthma in patients younger than three years of age, and even then there would need to be repeat episodes before they came to that diagnosis. The treatment is to administer albuterol to Emma using a nebulizer as necessary. She did a good job taking the first treatment in the doctor's office. She didn't struggle at all with having the mask help up to her face. It may have helped that she was tired. We haven't administered any treatments at home yet. Hopefully those go as well.

As if that wasn't enough. Emma was giving us some difficulties when it came to be time to go to bed, so after hearing her scream for a while that she wanted out, Emma cuddled with Mel on the chair in the living room. While she did that, I went back to the pharmacy to pick up Emma's medication. It took quite some time there because they were very busy and seemed to be understaffed at the pharmacy window. While I was waiting to pick up Emma's albuterol Mel called me. Apparently Emma was freaking out because Ike, our cat, was hissing and getting upset at a large stray cat that was outside the front window. Ike's actions frightened Emma, so Mel decided to remove Ike from the living room by getting him downstairs and closing the gate at the top of the stairway. When she tossed him downstairs though, Ike got even more upset. This scared Emma even more. When I got home, Mel was still holding Emma, who was at this time shaking still.

We absolutely could not get Emma to go to her bed. Every time we tried, she would start getting hysterical. We tried to get her to sleep in our bed, but that didn't work. Then while she was sitting on the bed, Ike jumped up on the bed, scaring Emma even more. So I ended up sitting with Emma on the chair in the living room. I tried to get her to let me lie down on the couch, but no, it had to be the chair. So Emma slept in my arms all night as I slept sitting up in the chair. I tried to put her in bed a few times when she was asleep--around midnight, 1:00, and 3:00--but every time I got out of the chair she would wake up enough to start saying "cuddle," indicating that she wanted to cuddle some more. Then as I carried her toward her room, she got even more upset. So I resigned myself to the fact that I would end up sleeping in the chair all night. When Mel got up at 5:15 this morning, I was finally able to get Emma in bed. I then laid down in bed myself for about half an hour before getting up. I certainly hope tonight goes better!


More from Bea Arthur

I have one final blog posting in memory of Bea Arthur. This is a video clip from The Star Wars Holiday Special in which Bea Arthur, playing Ackmena the barkeeper, sings a song in her bar. Much of the melody of the song comes from the song the cantina band played in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. If you'd like to see the entire cantina scene from the holiday special, follow this link.


Saturday with Emma

With Mel still in Cedar Rapids, I spent the day with Emma. I was happy that she let me sleep in until 6:20 this morning instead of waking me up at 5:30 as she did the previous two days. Late this morning, Emma and I went to the Mall of America. We had a ten-dollar gift certificate for the Build-a-Bear Workshop, so I thought it would be fun to go make a new teddy bear. We picker out one of the ten-dollar bears and made it. We didn't end up buying any accessories for the bear, so I ended up having to pay just the sales tax for the bear.

After making the Build-a-Bear, we drove over to IKEA. I had been wanting to go there to simply browse a bit. While we were there, we also stopped for lunch. Emma did a good job with her lunch, drinking her entire milk, eating all of her applesauce, and about half of her macaroni and cheese. After eating we finished looking through the store before returning home.

When we got home, it was time for Emma to take a nap. I had hoped that she would fall asleep shortly after leaving IKEA, but she waited until we were about five minutes from home before she finally went to sleep. Unfortunately she woke up when I got her out of the car. Getting her to go back to sleep for her nap proved to be very difficult. She eventually took a short nap, but it wasn't long enough.

After Emma's brief nap, we stopped at the grocery store and then headed to Erik's Bikes in Woodbury where we needed to pick up the rear wheel to Mel's bike. We had dropped it off the day befofe for a minor repair. We also met my sister there. She was shopping for a new bike. Shortly before we left, Jon, my cousin's husband, showed up with his son. After we left the bike store, the five of us went to dinner. Jon and his son were alone this weekend as well. After dinner we returned home and Emma got ready for bed. She went to bed without much of a problem tonight. I really would like her to sleep until 7:00 or later, but I doubt that will happen.


Anticipating that I wouldn't have much work to do on Friday, I decided this past Wednesday that I would take the day off. Since the weather was so nice, I went out for a bike ride. I ended up riding 25 miles to Woodbury, where I stopped for lunch at Quiznos, then I returned home. I probably should have put on some sunscreen before leaving for my bike ride as I found I had a bit of color to me when I returned. Fortunately though I did not get a sunburn.

I spent much of Friday afternoon cleaning and organizing the garage some more. I would really like to get the Saturn in the garage sometime. We have been living here for over nine months now. One would think that would be enough time to clear out the second half of the garage. Well, I didn't accomplish my goal, but I am very close. By next weekend I should be able to fit my car in the garage along side Mel's truck.

First Deadpool Score of the Year

I've scored my first points this year in the dead pool in which I am participating. Actress Bea Arthur, known for her roles of Dorothy Zbornak from The Golden Girls and Ackmena in 1978's The Star Wars Holiday Special, has died at the age of 86. This means that I will be getting 14 points. Of course, I do wish to extend my condolences to all who knew her.

This Week In Unnecessary Censorship

On his show, Jimmy Kimmel apparently has a segment where he takes video clips from TV and bleeps out words to make it seem like there is something worth being censored. The result is ****** funny.


Miss California USA

This past weekend, at the Miss USA Pageant, Miss California USA Carrie Prejean was asked a question about same-sex marriage from gossip blogger Perez Hilton. In her answer she stated that she thought that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Many people are saying that the reason she lost the Miss USA crown was because of her stance against same-sex marriage. I do not necessarily think this is the case. Instead I think part of the issue was that her answer just didn't make sense. She starts out by saying that it's great that in America we have a choice between same-sex marriage and "opposite" marriage. This isn't true, except for people in four states, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa (as of this coming Monday), and Vermont (as of September 1 of this year). So that was her first mistake. Secondly, why would someone "choose" one type of marriage over the other? A heterosexual couple is not going to make a choice to have a same-sex marriage as that would make absolutely no sense, just as a homosexual couple would most likely not want an opposite marriage, as Miss Prejean so eloquently put it. Finally, I don't think her answer indicates that she thinks that same-sex marriages should be outlawed entirely. After all, she does think it's great Americans have a choice between same-sex marriage and opposite marriage. That seems to me that she is open to the idea of same-sex marriage.

And while I am on the topic of same-sex marriage, here's a video parody of the Gathering Storm video put out by the National Organization of Marriage, who incidentally are only "for marriage" if it meets their definition of what they think marriage should be. The video includes such stars as Jane Lynch, Alicia Silverstone, Lance Bass, George Takei, and Liz Feldm.

Here's one final video regarding same-sex marriage. It is an advertisement from One Iowa in support of marriage equality for all.


More Family

This weekend was full of visiting with family. As I already wrote, on Saturday we went to Iowa to see some of Mel's family. On Sunday we went to my aunt and uncle's house here in Cottage Grove. My aunt and uncle from the Chicago area, Sue and Jim, were visiting my aunt and uncle here in town. Besides the aforementioned aunts and uncles, three of my cousins, their spouses, and their kids, my sister, and my mom were all there as well. We had a good potluck dinner, opened birthday presents for my cousin's two-year-old son, as well as a few birthday presents for Emma, and had some good conversations. Despite the fact that my three cousins and their families who were there all live in the Twin Cities area, we still don't see them too often. It was good to have a chance to visit with all of them.


There has been a lot on TV and the Internet lately about Susan Boyle's performance on Britain's Got Talent, but I haven't seen anything on TV about this performance of four naked guys dancing on the Swedish counterpart of that program, Sweden's Got Talent. Don't worry, this video is completely safe for work.


Let Me Twitter Dat

I may have a slight addition to Twitter, but at least I am not Twittering to the extreme as shown in this video by Andy Milonakis, Let Me Twitter Dat.


Dinner and a Trip to Iowa

My aunt and uncle from Chicago are in the area for the weekend, so my mom came up to the Twin Cities to see them. She arrived Friday afternoon and watched Emma for the evening so Mel and I could go out to eat for dinner. One of the people from where Mel works took a group of employees and their guests to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I have a couple of problems with the Cheesecake Factory. First, their menu is so big that I always have a hard time deciding on what I want to eat. I ended up choosing the Louisiana Chicken Pasta. Of course, the same problem also comes up when it comes to choosing what kind of cheesecake to have after dinner. This time I chose the Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheesecake. The other problem I have with the Cheesecake Factory is that the portions are so huge. Fortunately I was able to restrain myself and stop eating before I stuffed myself with my entrée, leaving myself some food for dinner on Saturday night.

On Saturday, we all drove to Ankeny, Iowa, for a birthday party for two of my nephews. It was quite a lot of driving for one day, about seven and a half hours altogether, but we had a good time. Since Emma has had quite a few presents to open recently for her birthday, I was worried about how she would handle seeing presents that she did not get to open. At first she wanted to open them, but I got her to sit on my lap. When she was there, she did really well. Emma must have really tired herself out at the party as she slept the entire way home. It was a little more difficult getting her to bed last night than it usually is, but not too much more difficult.


Fox Tabloid

Why does Fox News insist on saying they are "Fair & Balanced?" It seems that they may be more like a tabloid, catering to "junk-food" news. Another example of this is the lead story on their website this morning focusing on Vice President Joe Biden's many blunders. Sure, he may have made some mistakes, many of them quite glaring, and maybe he should be taken to task for some of them, but is this really a major story worthy of reporting, but making it the main story on their website seems a bit extreme. I guess it was there to appeal to their predominantly right-wing audience, much like their involvement in hyper-promoting the "Tea Parties" which occurred on April 15.

And as if that is not enough to show the bias of Fox News, they also have a link on their website to something they are calling "The Fox Nation," prompting people to "join the community that believes in the American Dream."

Looking at the Fox Nation website, it seems to me to be primarily an anti-Obama, anti-Democrat, rabid pro-Republican, pro-conservative, pro-head-of-the-Republican-Party-Rush Limbaugh (even utilizing his term "drive-by media" to refer to network news and non-Fox cable news) website. Apparently only conservatives believe in the "American Dream." The Fox Nation's website states that it "was created for people who believe in the United States of America and its ideals, as expressed in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Emancipation Proclamation." I wonder how its users feel about unconstitutional actions carried out by the Bush administration.


A Change of Pace

Yesterday, instead of working from my home office, I went across town to facilitate a committee meeting. It was a nice change of pace from my everyday routine. Instead of sitting by myself all day with the only interaction with others during the work day coming from phone calls and email, I got to work with a group of people. The meeting I facilitated was scheduled to run for two days, but the part for which I was helping out got finished yesterday, so I stayed home and worked at my desk all day. Fortunately I had plenty to work on.


Easter Weekend

We had a really good Easter weekend. Saturday morning, Mel, Emma, and I drove to my mom's condo in Waterloo, Iowa. My sister was supposed to come along as well, but her back was bothering her so she didn't think the three-and-a-half-hour ride in the truck would be all that great for her. We had lunch at Carlos O'Kelly's, after which we went to a park near my mom's home. Emma really enjoyed going down the slides at the park. They had three slides. For quite a while, Emma would only go down the smallest slide. Eventually, after seeing a boy who was just six months older than her go down the other slides, she eventually tried the twisty slide, which she ended up enjoying as well. Finally she tried the tunnel slide, which she also loved. She didn't want to leave the park, but when we got back to my mom's place, she was so tired that she took a nap.

Easter morning we went to my mom's church. Emma behaved fairly well which is good since she hasn't had much experience with going to church lately, except for the time Emma and I joined my mom at my sister's church last month, we haven't been to church since before moving to Minnesota. It seems like we are turning into Easter-only Christians. Actually, I think we plan on remedying that soon. We need to find a church here. We just have to decide which church to go to.

After church, we went to my aunt and uncle's house in Hudson for dinner. We had a yummy dinner. After dinner we had a birthday cake for Emma's birthday which was last month, and she opened some additional birthday presents. It seems that at just two years of age, Emma had really gotten into opening presents. Once we let her open her presents, she quickly ripped into them, throwing the clothes aside to get to the toys and books.

We didn't get back home until fairly late, but we had a great weekend.


The Dark

One should be careful when walking around in the dark. Last night Mel and I went to bed early because we were both tired. However, shortly after going to bed, we heard one of our cell phones ring. Mel went upstairs and discovered that it was not hers, so I went up to check my cell phone in the office. After returning the call that I had missed, I turned off the lights in the office and then began to proceed through the kitchen to the stairs. Earlier in the evening we had run the dishwasher and we had opened the door to let the dishes air out, saving the energy the dishwasher would have used to dry them. Unfortunately, with the lights off, I did not see the opened dishwasher door and I ran right into it. As I was falling forward, all I could do was think"oh shit!" And once I landed on the floor, I promptly proclaimed such out loud! Fortunately I was not severely injured. I just banged up my right leg a little, and none of the dishes were broken. I do think that the dishwasher door has been damaged though as it was very difficult to close the dishwasher. I am guessing that the home warranty we have will not cover this type of damage.


Bill O'Reilly -- Hypocrite

Check out this clip from the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart which points out how Bill O'Reilly is a hypocrite when it comes to a right to privacy.



I am only posting this video because lightsaber fights are cool, and because of the numerous Star Wars references. Honestly, that's the only reason why. By the way, this video is not safe for work.

Everyone Poops Trailer

From the director who brought you the movie of Where the Wild Things Are comes another movie based on a children's book - Everyone Poops!

If Only I Didn't Work From Home

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably know that I have worked form home since last July when my family and I moved to the Twin Cities from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As I currently work from home I have no need for a lunchbox since I just grab food from the refrigerator and cupboards from home. However, if I did still work in the office, I would have to consider buying, or asking for as a gift, this Star Trek lunchbox that is being sold at StarTrek.com. Of course, I could always look into getting the Spock Talking Wacky Wobbler Bobble Head.

William Shatner is da Man

Here is a clip of William Shatner from an appearance on Conan O'Brien's show a couple of years ago showing why William Shatner is so awesome!


My Weekend

At noon on Friday, I left home to visit friends in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for the weekend. When I arrived in Cedar Rapids, I went to my friend Captain Creative's apartment. When I arrived, our friend Jason was also at his apartment. Shortly after I arrived, the three of us headed out to pick up C.C.'s son T. from T's mom's place. Once we got him, the four of us went to Iowa City for dinner. We went to Z'Mariks Noodle Café for a fairly reasonably-priced and tasty dinner. Afterwards, we wandered around in the Old Capitol Mall for a short time before returning to Cedar Rapids.

Before returning to C.C.'s apartment, we stopped at the First Avenue Hy-Vee to pick up some refreshments. We stopped there because it was on the way back to the apartment. It isn't located in the best of neighborhoods, but I felt pretty safe there since they had three Cedar Rapids police officers and a Linn County sheriffs deputy there for security. We then hung out at C.C.'s apartment for the remainder of the evening.

The next day, C.C., T., and I ended up having breakfast at the Hardee's in Marion. I had not been to a Hardee's in a while, probably not since before we moved to Minnesota. We then took a drive over to the northwest side of town where we went to a role playing game store. The location of the store was quite familiar to me as it was located in the former location of the store from which we would go to rent movies when I was growing up in Cedar Rapids. That part of town is changing a bit though as a couple of buildings in the area, one of which I spent a considerable amount of time at, have been torn down. These two buildings were the BP station at the intersection of Edgewood Road and Johnson Avenue, and the Hardee's restaurant that was next to it. This was the first Hardee's that I ever worked at. I worked there each summer from 1990 through 1995.

A little while later, the three of us went to Metro Buffet in southwest Cedar Rapids for lunch. The food was good, but I didn't think it was as good as I remembered from the last time I ate there. I did manage to not stuff myself though. After lunch, we all went back to C.C.'s apartment where T. worked on some homework he had for school while C.C. and I watched an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Once T. finished his homework, the three of us played a little Dungeons & Dragons since they had recently picked up a starter kit for the fourth edition of D&D. It had probably been around twenty years since I had played D&D, but I think I remembered fairly quickly how to play. We ended up dropping T. off at his mom's place because C.C. and I were going to meet another friend of ours, Homercles.

C.C. and I first had a quick bite to eat at Taco John's before meeting Homercles at Fat Wally's downtown, where we played darts and pool for a few hours. After that, Homercles indicated that he could use a bite to eat, so we all walked down the block to Bricks Bar & Grill where we had an appetizer sampler consisting of jalapeño poppers, mozzarella sticks, and cheese fries. It was fun hanging out there. While we were there, a couple of guys asked C.C. to take their picture. C.C. said that this was actually the second time this had happened to him recently. I guess he just looks like the kind of guy who takes good pictures of total strangers.

Today I had intended on staying in Cedar Rapids until after lunch, but a winter storm was supposed to be coming, so I left shortly after getting up. Most of my drive back home was pretty good, although from a little but north of Waterloo until I got past New Hampton, the roads were pretty bad. After that though, the snow stopped and the roads were fairly dry. It was good to visit my friends, I hope it isn't another nine months before I get to see them again. Maybe they would like to come to Minnesota to visit.


Tauntaun Sleeping Bag

In its annual April Fools Day email, one of the products that ThinkGeek.com tried to fool its customers with was
a sleeping bag which looks like a tauntaun from Star Wars, complete with a tauntaun-head pillow and a mini lightsaber zipper pull. While this product does not actually exits, ThinkGeek.com has gotten such an overwhelming response from its customers that they are going to see if they can somehow get these produced. Of course this would mean getting authorization from Lucasfilms, but if they managed that, I think this could be a very popular item.

The Footloose Remake

Apparently Zac Effron was going to star in a remake of Footloose in the role that Kevin Bacon had, but he has now dropped out of the project. Why a remake of Footloose is necessary is beyond me. Fortunately, as reported on Jimmy Kimmel Live! yesterday, his role has been filled by nonother than Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniac.


Is It Almost Over?

The results from the court hearing Norm Coleman's challenge to Al Franken's Minnesota Senate election win may be coming soon, and it doesn't look good for former Senator Coleman. The three judges want to see 400 of the rejected absentee ballots, much fewer than the over 1,300 ballots that Coleman's lawyers wanted the judges to consider. If all 400 of the ballots end up being counted, which isn't very likely, he would have to win a very large number of these votes to overcome his 225-vote deficit. Unfortunately, when Norm Coleman is declared the loser to his challenge, it is possible that Al Franken still won't be our senator since Coleman can appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court. Once Coleman loses that appeal, then Al Franken can finally become the junior senator from Minnesota. So we could possibly have two senators in the United States Senate by the end of the month. Of course, it could happen sooner if Norm Coleman takes the advice he gave to Al Franken when he, Coleman, thought that he had won the election. He could just drop it.