Thursday, June 30, 2005

Movie Review War of the Worlds

Last night was all you can eat Hooters wings and The War of the Worlds. All I can say is wow. This movie rocked. After seeing Batman Begins I thought any movie I saw this summer would be a disappointment. This one was far from it. I did my senior reseach project on the War of the Worlds radio broadcast so I was interested enough in it to read the book by HG Wells. The book is, to me, a lot less interesting than the broadcast and I don't know how well the movie follows it because I don't remember it that well. I do know that the opening of the movie is the opening line of the book, which I thought was cool. I've decided I don't much care for Tom Cruise and the two kids in the movie annoyed me to no end. I guess they were supposed to, but there was a point at the beginning when I thought "someone needs to shut her up." The action sequences were very real. I don't think graphic was the word I would use, but they seem very realistic and the horror hits home in 911 fashion as once the martians attack you see people holding signs with pictures and numbers looking for missing people. That part of it was kinda sad, but if you've read the book or heard the broadcast you know how it ends. I won't tell you, but I will say that it's true to story. The martians looked just as they were described in both the novel and the broadcast so it was cool that they looked just as I had pictured them. What was really amazing to me was that you couldn't tell any of it was computer animation. It all looked very realistic and not anything like Episode I or Independence Day. I did like both of those movies, but you knew that it was done on a green screen. This one made you wonder. As far as movie recommendations go, this is one I would not miss in the theaters unless you have the ultimate sound system with the worlds best TV screen. Its just too much to miss on the big screen. Well, hopefully at some point this weekend I'll talk the hot wife in to a matinee to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith or the Longest Yard, but it looks unlikely. Next big one is the Fantastic Four. I'm already in line for that one next weekend and I cannot wait.

Well, tomorrow I'll be my own boss so I'm making out a to do list of things I need to cover on day one and we'll go from there. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Yeah...that's just great.

Well, it's my last week here. I figured it would be the roughest week since I started and so far it has been. Since Insanity would go in to withdrawls if I didn't post another good customer story - here you go. We get a call last night from a guy that was supposed to return something like six months ago. We still didn't have it, but we figured he was taking his time. He calls wanting to know where his replacement is and complains that we're taking too long. Since we never received his damaged one, we couldn't ship a replacement - that makes sense right? If the order is pending inspection of his damaged item, why would we ship a new one without having that one back here? We wouldn't. Well, he says he doesn't have this thing anymore and starts raising a fuss. I asked him what did he do with it. He said "I left it at the post office by one of those UPS and FedEx package pickup places. I was moving and I didn't know what else to do. You said to send it back so I figured that would take care of it. What was I supposed to do?" Anything but that is the answer. Seriously, are you that numb between your ears??? Why in the world would you leave a package just sitting somewhere? It gets better. The guy a different state. This is also information that would have been helpful BEFORE he moved. Just to keep everyone up to speed, here is where we are: He bought something that was damaged by the shipper, asked to return it, we okayed it, instead of shipping the package back he leaves it at the post office and moves three states away figuring everyone will know he's moved. We weren't sure what to do so we got our shipper to drive by the post office once we got an address (that took 30 minutes to find) and search for a package that was left there...six weeks ago. He didn't mention that earlier either. Six weeks and he thinks we'd just magically find out that he relocated and all would be well. By dumb luck, we found the package. It was delivered to his old house and the new people living there didn't know what to do with it so they just left it there. He started in again that we could have fixed this six weeks ago so I said "You are the one that could have fixed it. If it hadn't been at your old house, you would have just been out the money." He changed his tune and I think he'd realized what we'd spent the last hour trying to fix. Hopefully that will be my last dumb customer story, but I imagine it won't be. I'll have plenty more.

Tonight its all you can eat wings at Hooters (yes, the wife agreed to go) and War of the Worlds. It's two hours of Tom Cruise NOT talking about Katie Holmes or Scientology so I look forward to it. I'll have a review first thing tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


So, I went to buy online tickets for Fantastic Four last night only to find that I had the date wrong. It doesn't come out until the 8th which is next weekend and you can't buy online tickets for it as of yet. Damnit.

Two more days until I'm my own boss. I was going to add that as a countdown, but I'd have to take it down on Friday and that's just too much work.

War of the Worlds opens tomorrow so I should review that on Thursday morning. Time for another cold Corona!

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Sure enough case of the Mondays...

So, Mondays are the long day for the soon to be former Internet Salesman. I had fully intended to get a full nights sleep last night but somehow that didn't work. The weekend was good, I got my grass cut, my hair cut, and got to take the Cuda out for a weekend cruise. We drove up to Cleveland with my friend that has a 34 Ford Street Rod that's pretty cool so it was fun.

Sunday was a good afternoon to watch the race. My friend Mike came over and showed me his new Aprillia race bike. It's probably too fast for him but it's a cool bike. It would be too fast for me, don't get me wrong. Well, we had dinner with our friends Brandi and KT. KT is a long running friend of mine and Brandi is his girlfriend. She fixed dinner for us last night. It was home made lasagna with salad (which I don't eat) and garlic bread. For dessert she had home made Tiramisu and it was awesome. I was stuffed. I probably had too much wine and beer (it was Italian beer because we were all festive) so the wife drove home. I guess I was celebrating my new employment but I got carried away. We ended up playing board games until 1:00 in the morning and I had to be back at work at 7:00 a.m. to let everyone know this was my last few days. Needless to say I am tired. I was trying to figure out how to nap at work and not get caught but it doesn't look like that will work. Three more hours and I'm headed home. If I've ever had a case of the Monday's, that would be today. Now that everyone knows I'm leaving I've got those that are happy, those that pitch their ideas, and those that want a job. Okay, they know what we all make here so it's not like I can hire everyone off the sales floor here. It'd be nice to take them with me but that's not really possible. Well, there isn't much going on so I'm just kinda spacing out at my desk. Don't worry though, it looks like I'm doing work. That counts right?

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Welcome to the new home...

Ahh, it's much nicer here. Much less stress and the view is great! I have to give credit - Interblogger did an awesome job on the template so if the free templates are dull you should check him out. Consider him the cure for the common blog.

So, the change of pace comes because I'm no longer an Internet Salesman. As much fun as it was, fun doesn't pay for your house or the upgrades you'd like to do to it. Anyway, I'll be my own boss and I'm doing something that's way out of the ordinary for me. I'm running a bookstore that we've recently purchased. This is out of the ordinary for me because I don't read (yes, I can read I just don't read for pleasure) and I don't know much about books. However, it looks to be fun and I'll get to use these mad people skills that I've developed. No laughs there please. At any rate, welcome to the new home. We're Miles Away From Ordinary, the Corona's are always cold, and the view is always great.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Signs I don't like

Every now and then, in travels and being out in public in general, I notice signs that I really don't like. I took time to name a few just because they annoy me.

"Authorized Personnel Only." Now, if there's one thing I know about myself, it's that I'm definitely not authorized. I wouldn't even know where to go get authorized. Can you do it by mail? Wouldn't baptism sort of authorize you? I go through these doors anyway. If I get stopped I say "Well, I may not be authorized for this, but I'm authorized for other things. And your sign doesn't mention which things."

"One Way." It's pretty obvious to me that you can only go one way at a time. I got stopped when I was up north (where they have no sense of humor) and they said "Hey buddy, this is a one way street!" I informed them that I was only going one way and their way wasn't near as convenient as mine.

"Wrong Way." According to who? Right and Wrong is all a matter of opinion. What some people view as right, others view as wrong. How can a sign pass any sort of judgement? It has no feelings or instincts, it can't possibly know the difference.

"Please Wait to be Seated." That's obvious. If you came in to my home would you seat yourself without permission? Surely not. In the organized chaos that is a restaurant do you think you'd ever get service if they didn't know you were there? would not.

"Violators Will be Prosecuted." Wuss. This is not a threat that should scare anyone with our legal system. I think we need to go back to the old days and leave the courts out of hit. Hang a sign that says "Violators run the risk of being shot or getting their ass kicked. Violate at your own risk." Trust me, if word got out that you had a Desert Eagle .50 (a hand cannon for those that do not know), people would think twice before making any violations against you.

On a lighter note, I had lunch with Chas and the Notorious Interblogger today. Happy birthday IB and I can't wait for everyone to see the new template he's made. It rocks. With any luck, I can talk the wife in to seeing a movie with me tonight. She just doesn't know it's coming yet. Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Two weeks I crazy?

Well, it's official. I'm on my way out. I gave notice yesterday so I'll be out at the end of this month. I can't really say it's because I'm tired of it, or didn't like it. I'm actually going in to business for myself. I guess it's the american dream to be your own boss so I'm going to see what living that dream is like. I'm having a new template developed and I'll have a new blog name soon. Maybe I'll be a little more laid back, but I think this is a good move for me and my hot wife so hopefully it will work out. I like the idea of being my own boss, and when I talked to my boss today (the owner of the company) he said "I think you're the right kind of guy for this, you'll do really well." Coming from him, that meant a lot. He's not one that pays compliments or anything of the sort to anyone. He's also been named small business person of the year for this state more than once so I'm glad to know he thinks I'm capable of being my own boss. Shortly, I'll be miles away from the ordinary and on to something new. Maybe it will pay well enough that I can get that Viper I've always wanted around mid-life crisis time.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Movie Review: Batman Begins

Okay, so I haven't had much time to watch a movie with being out of town for a month, but this is the first movie I've seen since Episode III. For me, that's a long time. Anyway, I coaxed the wife into going to see the new Batman movie with Christian Bale. I was severely disappointed in the last two Batman movies with Clooney and Kilmer. I like Clooney and Kilmer very well as actors, but neither one of them was Batman. Michael Keaton was a good Batman, but I don't think he had the script to work with that Christian Bale did. This puts any other Batman movie to shame, and I'd be willing to bet that it is the comic book movie of the summer. I don't want to doubt Fantastic Four, but it will be hard pressed to beat this movie.

A quick rundown for those that haven't followed it. This is supposed to be how Batman became Batman. It starts with his parents getting murdered just as in the comic book, but this movie goes pretty deep in to how he becomes the caped Crusader. It's cool how he gets all of his gadgets, the car, and how he gets trained. It was about two and a half hours long, but it flowed so well that there was never any downtime so you didn't even notice. The only thing I would have changed is the guy that plays the Scarecrow. The guy they had was good, but I'd heard that Marilyn Manson was up for the role and had a scheduling conflict. I think this would have been the perfect role for Marilyn Manson if he wanted to start a career as a bad guy. It's good from start to finish and it's one I know I'll be purchasing the day it comes out on DVD. Overall, I give it five out of five stars. Well worth the price of admission, and well worth the money. If you like comic book movies, you need to see this movie. It's good all the way to the end, and they left it wide open for a second one so I'd look for this to take off like the Spider-man movies did. Hopefully it won't follow the path of the first series of Batman movies, but no one will leave this movie disappointed.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

At Christian's request, here is the Cuda.

The heap as it was when we bought it in 1995...

A quick background for any readers that might be interested. In 1995 I found an ad in the paper that read "72 'Cuda 340" with a phone number so I called. The guy told me he had driven it and that it was running. He lied. I told mom what we had bought and she was all excited that dad and I had a project. Somehow she translated "We've found a project car" into "We can drive it home and it's in good working condition." The car was brought home in boxes and we began restoration shortly thereafter. As you can see, it was a basket case.

Progess...really, this is a good stage.

An interim picture. We did a frame-off restoration on the car and yes, that's me in 1996.

So, restoration on the car was a long drawn out process. This is the car with no fenders. We'd brought it home from the body shop to build the brakes, the rear end, and parts of the suspension that were easier to get to with the fenders off. The neighbors hated this like you wouldn't believe. They would come by and offer to have it towed off for us so we moved it in to the garage.

As it sits today...

The finished product, as it sits today.

We finished the car in late 1997. I had hoped to drive it to graduation or senior prom, but that didn't happen. My friends laughed histerically when they saw the car in stage one. They weren't sure we could turn that in to a car. Mom wasn't sure what to think but now she likes that we can go to car shows and cruise ins together. We brought the car back to it's original color which is Basin Street Blue. It was actually Petty Blue, but Richard Petty wanted royalties for Chrysler to use his name. I can't blame him, but I've always been a fan of this color. The engine was rebuilt because we had nothing to start with. It didn't run and hadn't in probably 15 years. I doubt you'll ever see ones like it on Barrett Jackson like the latest Hemi cars have gone for, but it was never about the car. I liked the style of the car, but I really just wanted a project to do with Dad. We had a great time and it's always a blast to get it out and terrorize unsuspecting Honda's, Mustangs and Camaros with some real Detroit Muscle.

Like Father, like Son.

Like father, like son.

This is me and My dad at a car show a few years ago. We've since stopped doing judged car shows and just go because we enjoy driving the cars around. My Dad's car is a 1970 Plymouth Superbird. They were developed by Chrysler in the 70's with one purpose - winning races. When the Chrysler engineers brought this to the board their only question was "Will it win races?" It did. So many in fact that it was outlawed at the end of 1970 by Nascar. The rules back then stated that you had to be able to buy the car off the showroom floor so this one was purchased by my grandfather and he drove it to work. When he died, my Dad ended up with it. He has four sisters and they didn't think much of it so he kept it and restored it when I was a kid. I helped as much as a kid can help which probably wasn't very much. We do have a new project in mind, but currently we only have an engine sitting on a stand. We haven't done much with it yet.

Friday, June 17, 2005

My name is, who?

Okay, I think I've got a pretty simple name to pronounce and understand. It's not like it's a name that was made up by my parents that is particularly unique or spelled funny. Somehow in my travels and on the phone here, people get the weirdest things. Lately I've been getting called Spencer. Okay, this one I'm just confused over. There is no S in my name, and it ends in a K, not an R. I told a guy four times today that wasn't my name and he kept calling me spencer so I just went along with it. Better to just agree than argue I suppose. Probably a better one is my friend Bruce that works here. He gets people that call him Felix. Okay people, it's time to stop watching Bill Cosby re-runs and listen. Bruce and Patrick sound nothing like Felix and Spencer. They just don't. Maybe these people have cue tips like I've been getting that unravel on one end during the post-shower ear cleaning and clogging their ears. Oh well. I guess of all the nicknames I've had, Spencer is the one I understand the least.

It looks to be another good weekend in the scenic city. I should have nice enough weather to wash the Cuda and then I'm sure I'll have to wash my wifes car, but at least they'll be clean and I'll get to cut and water the grass again. Happy Fathers Day to all the daddies out there and I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Some days I just feel mean...

So, it's back to work and back to cutting the grass. My neighbor was nice enough to cut my grass for us while I was gone so that was nice of him. He's kind of like me in that he seems to enjoy cutting grass. I got him a nice shirt from my travels so he seemed to appreciate that pretty well. Have you ever wondered how grass grows in the cracks in your sidewalks and driveway but it's hard to get it to grow in the actual yard? I love to see when a flower, grass blade, or anything grows in solid concrete like that. It's damn heroic. I always feel really mean when I pull that out or weedeat it. It's like I'm just being inhumane to something that's worked so hard to make it.

Well, that's about it that's going on here. It's weird being back in the office when you've been on the road for a dang month. They should have a deprogramming class or something to get you used to being back in the office. Today, I feel like Peter Gibbons from Office Space. I'm going to have to leave so I don't explode - and no, I don't have a case of the Monday's.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Home at last...

So, I've been out for a while with only a mildly amusing story from the road this time. To answer the questions on the previous blog, I was out on business. I would tell you what it was, but that might lead to what I do and that could be bad.

Anyway, I'm home safely and here is my mildly amusing story. In this cross-country adventure I took I got to meet up with someone I've been talking to online for quite a few years now that I'd never met. I guess we never discussed age, but we always assumed we were around the same age. He turned out to be 43 and I'm 27 so we were both wrong. Anyway, he's from Mass. and wasn't used to the heat of the deep south where we were. He said something about the heat and I said "well, that's why we have sweet tea down here to keep cool." At 43 years of age, he didn't know what I was talking about. One of his friends said "Down here they have tea with the sugar already mixed in." His response was a confused "Why would you want that?" So later that night at dinner I saw him across the room from us and he hadn't seen us yet. I asked our waiter if she would please take him a glass of sweet tea and put it on my tab and with a funny look she agreed. He gets it and looks at the waitress with this "I didn't order this look" so she told him it was from the gentlemen across the room and I looked up and waived at him. He ended up liking the tea and came over to say "I was enjoying my tea and trying to remember when the last time a man bought me a drink was." It was kinda funny, but he doesn't drink so the sweet tea was appropriate. I told him if he was nice enough I'd send that secret back across the Mason-Dixon line with him.

Glad to be home, hope everyone was well while I was away.