Thursday, June 29, 2006


DAMN is this impressive.

When I saw it the first time I couldn’t believe it and knew I had to share it with all my blogmigos.

It’s from Sir David Attenborough (Sir Richard’s brother) and his Life In The Undergrowth series, so you know it’s legit.

Fair warning though, it may make your skin crawl.

It’s a giant (over 13 inches long) Venezuelan centipede catching and eating... a bat.

Click HERE to see the video via boingboing.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Random Thoughts for a Tuesday Afternoon

  • Always exciting when you catch a fish that could eat you.
  • Okay, it’s official; we as a nation have become a bunch of lazy-asses. How about a machine that will dunk your cookie into your milk for you. No lie, someone (in Florida of course) invented one.
  • Yesterday’s best headline on Fark: Nudists looking for new members, apparently tired of looking at the same old members. [rimshot!]
  • How many people who read this blog did I just antagonize by insulting Florida?
  • Rush Limbaugh was detained at an airport for having Viagra without a valid prescription. Limbaugh taking Viagra… talk about an image I don’t need to have…
  • Though he has been screwing people over for years.
  • Steven Seagal is making good headlines with his music career. Who’d a thunk it?
  • Things that make my skin crawl. Headline from an op-ed piece in the Chicago Tribune: Taking a bath with Ann Coulter. Ewwwwwwwwwww……
  • How would you do? Click HERE and see how you do on a sample of the civics test that immigrants have to pass in order to become a U.S. citizen.
  • I scored a 19 out of 20. I missed the name of the form to become a U.S. citizen. Rats...
  • As a person who loves crossword puzzles, THIS is an excellent article and I will have to see this movie.
  • Good (but not great) article about traveling from St. Louis (where I was born) to Chicago (where I live now) and things to do. Give it a read HERE.
  • Words every husband hopes to hear from their wife; “Honey, I’ve enrolled in a pole-dancing/cardio strip-class at the gym.”
  • Superfluous blog-plug of the week: Sarah’s moved, go and check out her new site HERE… it’s now 100% Blogger-free.

Doggone it...

In it’s heyday, Frasier was one of the best shows on television; funny as hell, intelligent, chocked-full of physical comedy and never above making fun of itself. It was also one of my favorite shows until it jumped the shark a few years ago, only to right itself in the show's last 2 seasons.

Now comes this news: Moose, the lovable Jack Russell terrier who played Eddie on the show… has died.

He was 16 ½ (115 years old in dog years) and died of old age.

Goodbye little doggie…

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Don’t you just love it when you have three long posts about you family’s trip to Disney World saved to a jump drive… and the jump drive decides overnight that it’s going to corrupt itself and you lose everything???

I do. I really, really do.

(Can’t you just feel the sarcasm dripping out of that statement?)

That’s what happened to me this past week. I had day’s four, five and six from our Disney Trip done.

I finished them all on Tuesday while HoMu was having surgery done – nothing “major”, she was having her deviated septum fixed – and yesterday I went to check them and post one...


All of them... gone.

Everything on my jumpdrive... gone.

Every. Damn. Thing.


Work files, home files, blog posts, everything... gone.

Luckily I had backups for the work and home files.

Not so much for the blog posts... they are forever lost to the cosmos...

So... I’m pretty pissed right now.

And bummed.

And puzzled.

Do I try to rewrite them? Do I say fu** it and not rewrite them? Or do I take the middle ground and do one post that encompasses the remaining days?

What do you guys think? Inquiring minds want to know.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A quick father's day post

For those of you looking for Part 3 of the Disney World Saga… don’t be disappointed, it’s coming soon – lot of stuff to cover… and remember…

And I’ve also been suffering from some severe writer’s block (or blogstipation – thanks Becky) as I cannot put into words what I want to say about the vacation… or anything else for that matter…

So let me post this short and simple post right now:

Taking a cue from Sarah, let me wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the Fathers out there who have blogs that I read on a consistent (some might say obsessive) basis: Scott, Crouton Boy, Childs Play x2, Mr. Big Dubya, MetroDad, Chocolate Makes it Better, Cynical Dad, Middle Aged Dad and The Whited News – HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

Now, let me give a hearty Happy Father’s Day to my Dad, my Uncle Nishan (who was more like a grandfather to me than an uncle) my Grandpa Warren, and my Abuelo Florentino. I love you all – HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

"Day Two: Magic Kingdom" or "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Mouse"

Day Two - A LONG, LONG, LONG Post

Our first full day in Florida and our first day of park tickets started early. Fortunately, day one was relatively calm and peaceful with only one true tantrum.

At 6:30 the phone rings with our wake-up call. Remembering the staggeringly annoying wake-up calls at Disney World when I was there in 1997, I made my wife answer it… (I’m sorry, I just cant handle anyone or anything being that fuc**** happy that early in the morning, especially without any coffee in my system)

She’s up and walks over to the food court to get herself some soda and me some coffee (isn’t she sweet?) and I hit the shower while letting the younglings sleep a ‘little’ longer.

We are at Magic Kingdom at 8:50, in time to see the “calling” of Mickey so he and his ‘posse’ can officially call for the opening of the Magic Kingdom. And right on cue, the train arrives at the station and Mickey and his friends get out, sing their little ditty, and huzzah; the gates part and we enter the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’.

And with that, The PB and The J’s first trip to Disney World was “officially” under way.

The PB and The J are not really accustomed to sitting in lines… let alone relatively long lines. So the Day One Meltdown (herein called DOM) starts… for both of them... while we wait in the line to ride Dumbo.

They don’t want to wait, they want to get on the ride NOW, not later. They want to know why the people in front of us aren't sharing. They want to ride Dumbo, and they want to ride it now...
After about 10 minutes they calmed down and realized that they weren’t the only ones waiting and that no one else in line was crying. So they stopped.

Then finally, it was our turn, The PB with HoMu and The J with me.

They loved it. They laughed, they giggled, they applauded…

(Aside: Is it me, or is the length of rides getting shorter and shorter??)

We rode Dumbo, we rode the Carousel, we rode The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (which was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride back in 1997. Apparently the braintrust at Disney finally realized that the kids of today had no clue who the hell Mr. Toad was...), Snow White's Scary Adventures (which, quite frankly, scared the bejeebus out of The PB), Mad Tea Party (The J's favorite ride while we were there) and The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm (the PB's FAVORITE ride while we were there)

Now it's time for me to make a confession; I like rollercoasters, I like flying, I like doing fun-stuff, but I, Kemp, have a confession to make:

I don't like the Teacups at Mad Tea Party.

It's not that I don't like the ride per se, it's just that for some unknown, unearthly reason, that ride makes me queasy and nauseous. The four of us went on it once, and I had to prevent HoMu from making the cup go faster because I was starting to feel sick.

What's wrong with me? Am I a chicken? Am I a wuss? I don't know. There, that's my confession.

After riding a surfeit of rides, it was time for our first (of MANY) character meals. This was Winnie the Pooh and Friends at The Crystal Palace.

One word can sum it up: 'Wow!'

The restaurant is gorgeous, the food was great, and the characters came to each and every table and then, at one point during the festvities, they did the 'Tigger Dance' and had all the kids form a conga line and dance throughout the place. The PB & The J did, and I almost had to restrin HoMu from joining in (WTP is her all-time favorite Disney character. So much so that when we first started dating in college, that was her nickname for me, 'Pooh'... why the hell did I just tell all of you that??? Son of a bit--)

Anyway... after eating WAY too much and getting autograph and pictures galore, we headed to Adventure Land and rode, among others, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin (which is the same thing as Dumbo but with 'carpets' that can hold four instead of baby elephants that can hold two). This was also where the kids bought their first souvenier; a water bottle that 'spritzes' water through a kid-friendly fan. Find a need and fill it has always been my motto...

About 4:00, seeing that the girls were getting cranky, we decided to head back to the resort for a quick break (and a change, it was 93 degrees and we were all hot and sweaty) before our next character meal at 6:30.

We get back to Magic Kingdom and hopped on the Monorail (every time we got on, I had to sing the 'Monorail' song from The Simpsons, to the extent that The PB and The J also started singing it) to get to Chef Mickey's for our dinner with Mickey and the gang. Again, a very nice place. Good food, a LOT of characters (Mickey, Donald, Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale) and a relaxed atmosphere. They also did a dance with Goofy that required everyone to take their napkins and twirl them above their head (and apparantly ignoring the fact that some of the napkins probably have bits of food on them that will be flung in every direction)

Back to Magic Kingdom and watched Country Bear Jamboree (I think this attraction's time has come. The songs are more than a tad strange 'Blood on the Ground'?) and the "SpectroMagic" Parade followed by the nightly fireworks.

Then back to the room to sleep for another day of fun...

Tomorrow, Day Three at MGM. And this is where the fun REALLY starts...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Day One: Travel Day

There are so many stories to pass on about our trip to Disney (The Evil Empire) that I’ve decided to split them out by days, kind of like the TV show '24', but rather than Hour one or Hour Two, it will be Day One, Day Two.

Why? It’s called filler material my friends, and it’s needed when one is tired and too pooped to post.

And be warned, we took three hours of video and over 500 pictures (that’s what happens when you buy a brand-spankin’ new compact digital camcorder and an ultra-large digital camera SPD card right before leaving on vacation), so when we get them all uploaded and sorted, I'll be sure to post some.

For those of you that need lists and schedules and agendas (like my wife), here you go...

Day One: Traveling to Orlando and the “Happiest Place on Earth”… unless you’re a toddler who doesn’t get the toy that they wanted… then it sucks ass.

Day Two: Magic Kingdom and it’s never-ending parades (Homer Simpson: "Oh, look! It's the 12-noon robot parade. Hurry up or we'll have to wait for the 12:05 parade.")

Day Three: MGM ('Star Wars' weekend, baby!) and Magic Kingdom

Day Four: Epcot & Magic Kingdom (are you sensing a theme here?)

Day Five: Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom (hmmmmm... wonder what it is?)

Day Six: Traveling home to Chicago and its broad shoulders

This entry, the travel. Rather than drive the 450 hours to Florida, we decided to fly... with toddlers... uh, oh...

Honey Mustard and I had heard and read all the horror stories about airports and long lines, so we were a little nervous about the whole flying experience. Truth be told, given that this would be the first air-travel experience for The Peanut Butter and The Jelly, we were more than a little nervous, we were very nervous. Also consider that the last time my wife or I flew was in 2001, before 9/11, so this was, for all intents and purposes, a new experience for us as well.

Since we got the tickets online for Southwest airlines, we were able to do a quick check-in. We gave our bags to the agent and proceeded to security, fully prepared to wait in a long, tedious and winding line.

When we got to the security checkpoint, there was no line… none...

Uh-oh, should we be nervous??

Yes and no. We took off our shoes, placed our bags and keys in the plates and HoMu went through followed by PB and J.

Then it was my turn...


Son of a...

Try again...


Damn it!

The TSA worker working the line asked me to go over to a little area that was off to the side. I went in and sat down. Next thing I know, a big guy enters while putting rubber gloves on…


It was at this point that I strongly considered surrendering and telling HoMu that she and The PB and The J were going to Disney World by themselves.

They had me take my socks off, take my belt off, checked me with the wand, patted me down and realized it was my friggin’ watch...

My friggin’ $10 watch that I bought solely for vacation with the reasoning of not wanting to wear an expensive (or even my nice, in-expensive) watch while traipsing around the parks and getting dirty and wet and being run into by people who have no idea what the concept of a line is… but that’s a post in its own.

We got through security and, since we had given ourselves WAY too much time, decided to get the girls something from McDonalds.

If you have never flown on Southwest airlines, the best way to describe the boarding process would be to say ‘cattle call followed by cattle stampede” as they do not have assigned seating.

We didn’t have to worry about that…since we were traveling with kids under 4, we qualified for “Pre-Boarding”, which meant we got to board the plane before the throngs did.


Now the tense part, how would the girls react to an airplane; the taxiing and taking off and any turbulence that may be encountered?

Turns out that The PB & The J can handle air-travel better than Honey Mustard can.

We had quite a bit of turbulence on the way down, bad enough that the stewardesses (yes, you saw that right; I called ‘em stewardesses) had to sit down and my wife was a little (read: VERY) nervous.

We landed, bypassed baggage claim (part of the Disney package – they claim our baggage and take it to the resort, we never see it until we get to our room and it’s already there, sweeeeeeet) and found our bus for the 45-minute trip to our resort.

The girls and the wife slept while I listened to some soothing Billy Holiday on my iPod and relaxed, bracing myself for what lie ahead...

Next: Day Two - The Magic Kingdom: home of Cinderella (the Jelly’s favorite) and Snow White (the PB’s favorite)... will the wife and I survive?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wow, it IS a small world after all...

We are back from Disney World...

We are tanned...

We are relaxed...

And we are damn glad to be home...

(Aside: if I see one more Disney character, it’s entirely possible that I may pick them up and throw them off the top of the Dumbo Ride, but i digress)

All kidding aside, the four of us had a great time and got back into town last night about 7:30.

Now comes the stories...

We have lots of stories to tell but unfortunately, since I foolishly did not take today off (What the hell was I thinking, I will have to do write-ups tonight after the twins go to bed and the wife is at class (she didn’t take today off either)

So stay tuned… they are guaranteed* to make you laugh and say; “Awwwwwwwww.”

*Not an actual guarantee.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Tag! I'm it...

Leaving for the airport... forgot to post this yesterday... here ya go...

I was tagged by Croutonboy… actually, the state of Illinois was tagged by him, so at least I’m not alone.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring three of the following items, what would they be?


Tough… very, very tough. I love movies, and it's so hard to rate them against each other. I almost went for a couple or somewhat obvious choices, like To Kill a Mockingbird, Stripes or Caddyshack.

Ignoring the fact that there probably isn’t a place to plug in a DVD player on a deserted island, I have made my choices…

The West Wing Season 1 – I can watch each episode over and over and over again and never tire of them.

Star Wars – All six of them… that’s right, you heard me (sorry Sarah). All of them… even ‘Phantom Menace’ and, sigh… Jar-Jar…

The Great Escape – I thought about a comedy (though on it’s worst day during Season 1, West Wing was funnier than half of the “comedies” on any of the networks) like Real Genius or Noises Off… but, ultimately… this won out. All-star cast, slight hints of comedy… and XX. How can you not like this movie?


I suppose it would be cheating to say my iPod, so I’ve combed through the recesses of my mind and picked the three albums I would have to have on the island.

1” by The Beatles. It’s the Beatles… ‘nuff said.
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” by Wilco. Brilliant album, pure music genius.
The Very Best of Frank Sinatra” by Frank Sinatra. How can you go wrong with Sinatra???


I thought that C-boy’s selection of Mark Twain was a good one, but, not wanting to copy him, I decided to come up with someone similar… yet different.

James Dean? Henry David Thoreau? William Shakespeare? Nah… I had to be true to form and pick three eclectic individuals who could all bring something unique and varied to the table.

Aristotle. A philosopher (who created the theory of rhetoric) who loved to argue and me, who loves to argue, on a deserted beach… what could possibly go wrong?

Dudley Moore. Think about it, he could do improvisation with the best of them (Moore and Cook anyone?), could play virtuoso-type piano, was funny as hell, and was “Arthur”… how could one go wrong?

I thought about the last one a long time. The wife can’t be there, so I thought about Penelope Cruz (though the fact that she has “been” with Tom Cruise makes her slightly less attractive), or Salma Hayek or Shakira. But I finally decided on Rachel Ray. She may not be the most attractive one of the bunch, but she is pretty-damn hot and she can whip up anything in 30-minutes, which could come in handy on a desert island. Guys (and gals for that matter), click on the link for her name… yowza…


This one was the hardest one for me, which is why it’s last in this cavalcade of whimsy.

I have a list of favorite books, and I’ve written about it on this blog a few dozen times, but trying to pick three of them only was a very daunting task.

I do know that one of the three will be one I have never read before but have been told by a surfeit of others to read. Why something new? Because it’s something new that I can look forward to while stuck on a deserted island. If I don’t like the new one, it’s ok as I still have two of my favorites to fall back on.

I considered The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, but there are two things wrong with that selection; the size of the book and the fact that I feel it’s a cop-out to offer up that as a selection. Besides, even though I love Shakespeare and understand the language and meanings, anyone can get a headache while reading him… which I would imagine would only be exacerbated by being stranded.

Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. It stands to reason this would be one of my choices. Think about it; it’s an anthology, so there are multiple stories being told by multiple people and you can read it slowly and methodically and not lose sight of the end result of the book.

Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Think about it… the underlying nuances of the book and the underlying nuances of the situation of being on a deserted island makes for a compelling parternership. Plus, as Cheeky said, it’s good to have a self-help book on the hand.

The new book I would choose, would be Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. Why not?

That’s my list… so now I have to tag someone else. Hmmmm… let’s see, I’m gonna take the Croutonboy route and name a state… let’s see… Florida or Virginia???? Hmmmm…

I think this will have to wait until I’m back from vacation…